MANY MILESTONES: Najib has made his mark as a leader of calibre on the national and global fronts
TOMORROW marks the fourth anniversary of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister. It was on April 3, 2009 that he took over the reins of the government, after his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, stepped down.
Tomorrow may seem just like any day for many, but considering the hotly anticipated dissolution of Parliament and the ensuing 13th general election, it should be a good day to take stock of what Najib has done during his four years helming the country.
With all the developments leading up to the elections, it should be noted that Najib’s administration has set the bar really high with its many milestones.
The Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme, which were separately rolled out within his two years in office, remain the most clear-cut of national agendas, covering a broad spectrum of issues affecting the people.
These had proven to be a roaring success, especially so when one considers that he had to run the country and enact all these changes after “inheriting” a ruling coalition that had experienced the effects of the political tsunami of the previous national polls, all the while having to stave off the threat posed by the global economic crunch.
Even the harshest of critics would find it hard to argue the case against the benefits that these national transformation policies have brought about in such a short span of time.
The government was single-minded in its mission to go back to the basics of governance — serve the people better by constantly engaging with all segments of society to gauge their needs.
The volatile global economy has certainly made its mark on Malaysia, as those in the middle and low-income groups would probably attest to as they grapple with issues related to the increasing cost of living.
The ruling Barisan Nasional, of which Najib is the chairman, made it a point to understand the specific needs of the people, and through the GTP and ETP came the hallmark initiatives of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), 1Malaysia Book Voucher Programme, Back-to-School Incentive, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia and Klinik 1Malaysia, among many others.
In his administration, Najib has ensured his cabinet members are accountable in each of their respective fields, thus making corporate world terms such as “ministerial key performance indicators” part and parcel of the public service working culture.
The National Key Result Areas had also ensured issues such as graft busting, crime reduction, public transport, education, poverty, rural infrastructure and cost of living remain a high priority under the BN government.
Legislative reforms such as the abolition of the Internal Security Act and amendments to archaic legislation covering issues related to the right to peaceful assembly, students’ involvement in politics and printing press licences were carried out under Najib’s watch.
Another highlight was the setting up of TalentCorp Malaysia, which offers incentives for Malay-sian professionals returning from abroad.
Najib has also made his mark as a leader of calibre on the global front after being instrumental in finalising the Framework Peace Agreement between representatives of the Muslim Bangsamoro people in southern Philippines and the Philippine government last October.
More recently, Najib’s efforts in getting Malaysia to play facilitator between the Thai government and representatives from southern Thailand’s Muslim-majority community, had resulted in the first- ever attempt at brokering peace and putting an end to the bloody insurgency in those provinces.
National Council of Professors’ head of politics, security and international affairs cluster, Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, said besides managing well national affairs, Najib had shown he was a world statesman as well.
Now, all eyes are on Najib as the nation awaits his announcement on when Parliament would be dissolved.
Your guess is as good as mine but if there’s one thing we can be sure of, Najib has certainly delivered.
And for that, we wish you the heartiest of congratulations on your fourth year in office, Sir.