KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tonight gave the assurance that the Pakatan Harapan government guaranteed justice for all the people after their having achieved the “second independence” by rejecting a ruthless regime.
He invited the people to work together with the government to revive the country from the damage left behind by the previous government.
In his National Day 2018 message broadcast over television, Dr Mahathir said the people were celebrating the National Day this time with a sense of relief and comfort, free from the shackles of the previous regime.
“Indeed, this is our second independence. We are free from the shackles of a ruthless regime. Our lives are more comfortable.
“This PH government guarantees justice for all the people, irrespective of race or religion,” he said.
Touching on the success of the nation, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia had developed rapidly in the early days to become an Asian Tiger and remained capable of becoming a developed nation by 2020.
Unfortunately, he said, a change in the administration had brought about a change of policies and approach, and the lawful systems of democracy and administration were discarded and replaced with other means.
“Such was the damage and pressure that the people endured, so much so that they felt they had achieved independence once again when the 14th General Election brought about a change of government,” he said.
In inviting the people to work with the government to revive the country, the Prime Minister reminded the people that the task was a heavy one but said nothing could stop the people and government working together.
“Ours is a heavy task. But no power can come between a people and government working together.
“We have seen how countries defeated and destroyed in war have risen again in a short time and progressed due to the spirit and efforts of the people and government.
“We are also capable of that. We, too, can revive our country, Malaysia. The government can administer well, exercise thrift, be disciplined and control greed. This is being done.
“The success in reducing debt is being seen, although it is still a little. The damaged administrative machinery has been restored. Insya-Allah (God willing), the actions being taken and to be taken will nurse the nation to health again.
“But the people have to play their role as well. If the government is unable to provide money as in the past, which was due to the wastage before, it will jeopardise the recovery process.
“After all, this government does not steal public funds to give part of the loot to the people,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Pakatan Harapan government would use a better approach by creating more jobs and business opportunities.
“This is returns from one’s own sweat and, of course, it is halal,” he added.
He said that in this context, the government would provide education and training as well as scholarships. Workers’ expertise will be enhanced so that their income can grow.
“We will raise wages according to ability. But it must be remembered that a rise in wages will be meaningless if the cost of living rises as well,” he said.
Dr Mahathir shared the formula to help raise the people’s purchasing power.
“To ensure that wage increases raise purchasing power, productivity must be enhanced through more efficient management, increased worker efficiency, use of machines, robotics and automation, and additional investment by employers.
“The government will give incentives and rewards to those who raise productivity at the lowest cost. The rising prices of industrial products must be controlled,” he said.
Dr Mahathir emphasised that the government would always help the people who were genuinely poor or disabled by giving better aid than BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid).
He said BR1M would be gradually reduced but the poor and unemployed and those unable to work would be given more meaningful assistance.
The Prime Minister
said that in line with this year’s National Day theme of ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku’, the love for the country would be able to overcome whatever differences, contradictions and suspicions that might arise.
“Hopefully, our aspiration for Malaysia to be progressive, peaceful and fair will remain forever. Love this Malaysia of ours,” he said. - Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd