YAB PM Najib, don’t let a few civil servants dictate to you what you should or should not do. It is time for you to call a spade a spade. We Gennevians look up to you and truly hope that you say what you mean and mean what you say. So when you say “don’t worry” many if not all will hold you to that promise. After all, it is only you who coined the slogan “Janji Ditepati”.
As I spent the afternoon reading Savana Sim’s latest posting on 1st December 2012 (commemorating exactly the second month since the controversial raid by BNM on GM) with the article titled “Misfeasance in Malaysia” (http://on.fb.me/UypHFL) … my thoughts shifted to PWTC where our PM, Najib Razak and his fellow UMNO members enter the final weekend to the UMNO’s General Assembly making fiery speeches to exert their presence and relevance. The PM, undoubtedly now busy chasing for the critical mandate needed from both his party generally and members of the public particularly for the power to lead the country on for the next five years.
He has made numerous promises to the people of this country and hence we all seen his slogan “Janji Ditepati” magnified (literally) to gigantic size everywhere. Of course he can afford to make all sorts of promises and make good some of them. After all, he is the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and also the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development. Indeed he is a man who holds vast powers and hence we look up to him as a man with integrity and conviction to keep to his words and deeds.
With this still in mind, I have gathered together some of his quotes which he made along the way since becoming PM:
“I urge us to rise to the challenge of building a 1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.” (April 3: On assuming office as the sixth prime minister);
“UMNO should be seen, regarded and trusted as a party that is capable of looking after the lot of the people. UMNO cannot be seen as a party which is only passionate about struggling for the interest of a small group. Instead, we want UMNO to be seen, felt and fully trusted as a party that is inclusive and that puts the interests of the people before personal interests. Therefore, the perception that UMNO is a party for people to “cari makan” (earn a living) must be erased and discarded.” (15/10: maiden speech as UMNO president in conjunction with the 2009 UMNO General Assembly);
“I have to make a decision in the interests of the BN. I am not merely the president of UMNO; I am also the chairman of the BN. I am the prime minister not only for the Malays; I am the prime minister for all Malaysians.” (1/11: opening Gerakan national Delegates’ conference);
“We will change for the better. I give you the commitment; we will change for the better. But I ask (that it should be) not only me. Do not just look at the prime minister; we all must reflect the change. We must be like the train. (When) the train is moving … it cannot be the locomotive alone … everybody else must work together.” (1/11: opening Gerakan national delegates);
“I have been saying privately, but I might as well say it publicly, that the thing I liked about President Bush’s foreign policy is that he was very pro-free trade. Frankly I don’t like the other policies, but I like his policy on free trade.” (14/11: panel session at the Apec CEO Summit 2009);
“The era of government knows best is over”;
“We have to innovate. No nation can be successful unless they are involved in innovative and creative activities”;
“The world is changing quickly and we must be ready to change with it or risk being left behind.” (30 March 2010: unveiling of the NEM); and
“Don’t worry” (19 October 2012: PM’s assurances to Genneva Malaysia gold buyers).
In trying to hammer in his pitch for the New Economic Model (http://bit.ly/UyAujj) to the public and to achieve the transformation needed, Najib said there were eight strategic reform initiatives that would be focused on:
- Re-energising the private sector to lead growth;
- Developing a quality workforce and reducing dependency on foreign labour;
- Creating a competitive domestic economy;
- Strengthening the public sector;
- Putting in place transparent and market-friendly affirmative action;
- Building knowledge based infrastructure;
- Enhancing the sources of growth; and
- Ensuring sustainability of growth.
PM Najib has called for Malaysians to be innovative, to stop playing safe and come out to be real entrepreneurs. We have seen people like Tony Fernandez of Air Asia doing just that when he emerged starting from scratch. Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd has done exactly that as well and the company has rapidly grown by leaps and bounds since then. What Genneva had accomplished would have put to shame any other home grown entrepreneur wished for under the umbrella of the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (http://etp.pemandu.gov.my/)
PM Najib was on the correct path when he advocated for the right to free trade and free enterprise. Sir, to don a laissez faire outfit, your leadership is required so that you are able reign in and put a check to all your men in the hierarchy of bureaucracy. No one in the government should be allowed to stifle the free market at his whims and fancy unless for a very good reason. In any abuse of the system such as that in the case of Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd (GM), it is grossly unfair to all concerned, even to the nation.
Of the eight strategic reform initiatives which PM Najib has talked about, GM can already fit into at least five of them, those being as follows:
- GM belongs to the private sector and it is contributing to and doing its part to chip in to the government’s agenda calling for this sector to lead growth (in the area of gold trading);
- GM has developed a quality workforce nationwide, training skillful staff and consultants to handle gold trading and GM is the only one in the industry that has effectively put in place the government’s aim of reducing dependency on foreign labour and yet achieving high income status within its community.
- GM is not only creating but actively pursuing and contributing vibrantly to the domestic economy;
- GM is not only enhancing but actively tapping into sources of growth in the gold industry; and
- GM is ensuring the sustainability of growth by combining forces as a regional player in the gold industry.
Turning the spotlight back to PM Najib, he is the Finance Minister. BNM is under the purview of his ministry. If he wants to, he has the power and authority to get to the bottom of this fiasco and find out what is the real problem. It is high time that he puts his foot down firmly on the issue if BNM is still grappling to find fault with GM. If there is any fault, BNM would have found it already by now. There is no more reason or excuse to dilly-dally.
PM Najib, don’t let a few civil servants dictate to you what you should or should not do. It is time for you to call a spade a spade. We Gennevians look up to you and truly hope that you say what you mean and mean what you say. So when you say “don’t worry” many if not all will hold you to that promise. After all, it is only you who coined the slogan “Janji Ditepati”.
By Dee Casey, Genneva Malaysia Supporters
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