KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants the mastery of Bahasa Melayu in the Chinese National Type Schools (SJKCs) to be enhanced to maintain unity among the people of this country.
He said it was important because Bahasa Melayu is a medium of communications capable of promoting unity among the people in the country and should be mastered by all Malaysians regardless of their differences in background, religion and race.
“We will build more SJKCs if there are requests and appropriate capacity, both in the urban and rural areas. But we also encourage them to take and promote Bahasa Melayu as that is our language.
“Bahasa Melayu is important because you can promote good unity. I would like to emphasize on that. When we build more Chinese schools, please give attention to Bahasa Melayu as well,” he said during a dialogue session on TN50: Malaysia Chinese Youth Summit 2017 at Wisma Huazong, Serdang near here, which was also attended by MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Commenting on the proposal to build more SJKCs, Najib said the matter was now in talks between the Education Ministry, Liow and Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.
Touching on racial unity, Najib said the country needed more “moments of unity” such as support to national sports athletes in ensuring continuous harmony and avoiding sensitive issues that could undermine the prevailing peace.
Clearly this effort could not be done by the government and government agencies alone as it also required the involvement of the private sector in playing a vital role to imbue the spirit of unity, he said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of household debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, which contracted to 88.4 per cent this year, Najib explained that it had always been a concern of the government, thus several initiatives had been implemented to ensure it would be well managed.
“We are looking at it, and one way is to increase income of the household. That’s why I have insisted the implementation of minimum wage because we need that. I am also trying to encourage companies from the private sectors to set aside some profits to increase incomes of their workers.
“We will also try to make microcredit more available so that people would not want to go to ‘ah longs’ (unlicensed money lenders) because I know they can be aggressive. We can do this (controlling the household debt) provided the fact that we need to educate people more on how to manage their financial,” he said.
On inflation and the cost of living, Najib said, the rate of inflation stood at between 3 to 3.4 per cent while the cost of living in Malaysia was much lower than most of the ASEAN countries.
However, Najib added, the government would not take it for granted but would come out with more initiatives to help reduce the burden of the people, of which the details would be announced during the Budget 2018 tabling next week.
In concluding the session, the Prime Minister humbly admitted that the government was not perfect and had a lot of weaknesses but the current administration was doing its best for the people as what the forefathers had envisioned before.
“Please look at the good things that we have achieved. If we work together, we can make it even better, Malaysia will go to greater heights if we all work together.
“We will not compromise what our forefathers have agreed for this nation, and they wanted Malaysia to be balanced, moderate, harmonious, give and take. As your Prime Minister, I will continue the policies that are moderate, progressive, and I believe in national harmony and unity,” he added. — Bernama