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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     8 October  2011                    

Razak: Malaysia ready for "next phase"

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After 53 Budgets, 10 five-year development plans, three outline perspective plans, and various national policies between 1971 and last year, Najib Razak said Malaysia was ready for its next phase of development.

"Today, we continue our journey together towards becoming a developed and high-income nation," he said.

Although the budget would continue with the tradition of placing the rakyat's welfare and country's well-being as its top priority, Najib said it was important to create for every Malaysian child a brighter future that was full of hope and prosperity instead of fear and hate.

"Over the last 30 months, the Government has charted a clear path for our beloved nation to achieve the national vision," he said.

He added that this was not only about unity in diversity, improving public service delivery or restructuring the economy.

"It includes the Political Transformation Programme which will create a new path for Malaysia's next phase of development where differences of ideas will be celebrated and not lead to never ending conflicts and where no one will be punished or sidelined for ideological differences," he said.

Najib said that at a time of global uncertainties, the rakyat's strong support was mandatory in order for the country to become a developed, prosperous nation.

Malaysia, he added, was successful and showed it was capable of changing from an agricultural and low-income country into a modern, industrial and upper middle-income nation within a short time.

He described this as an "extraordinary success, rather than a norm," as there were many countries with more potential to succeed than Malaysia during their early days of independence but which didn't.

"This success did not come easy. It was the result of hard work between the Government and the people who toiled together and held firmly to the principle of systematic planning and effective implementation

"It is clear that our development success story was not crafted in the boardrooms of skyscrapers but the result of hard work of all Malaysians, regardless of race, belief, gender or socioeconomic status," he said.

To further support economic growth, Najib said it would implement a Special Stimulus Package through the Private Financing Initiative, which would see several public projects, such as the upgrading and maintenance of schools, flood mitigation program and enhancing basic rural infrastructure.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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