Najib: Don't knock your country down (Updated)

PETALING JAYA: There are Malaysians who don't appreciate their country and some also go further by trying to knock it down, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

He said these Malaysians are also being used by politicians to attack the country for their own benefit.

"Many people who visit the country realise that the picture being painted by these people is not true.

"They realise that Malaysia is not a failed state," he said.

He said we are moving towards a better future through the Transfomasi Nasional (TN50).

"I don't believe the politics of fear, we as politicians have to give people hope and TN50 is all about hope.

"We have limited resources and we need to leverage this to create exponential growth, through creativity and design we will be able to take this quantum leap," Najib told those gathered at the Genovasi Malaysia fifth anniversary celebration here today.

He said he wants to improve the country and see it as one of the leading nations in the next 20 to 30 years.

Answering questions from civil servants who had undergone the Genovasi Design Thinking programme, the Prime Minister said one of the most important things thought at the course was empathy and civil servants and politician need to practice this.

"Going down to the ground alone is not enough, we must listen to what the people have to say about their problems as they may have a solution for it. With this simple exercise we will able to fix their problems," he said.

Najib cited the example of his visit to Pulau Tuba off Langkawi: " I was surrounded by senior officials who I know well and meet often. I informed them that I wanted to sit down with the village heads of the island and listen to their problems.

"To my surprise I was told that the price of RON 95 and diesel was higher on the island than on Langkawi, I immediately called the minister responsible to solve the problem," he said, adding that this is best way to deal with problems faced by the people.

Najib urged those present to speak to their heads of departments if they had innovative ideas for their respective ministries.

He also warned senior civil servants that they can no longer practice a hierarchical approach when looking to make changes to their departments, they must give their juniors the chance to present their ideas and speak their minds.

"This is the kind of culture change that is needed in the civil service and the top echelon must be ready to embrace it," he said.

Najib also advocated the breaking down of silos between ministries to deal with problems because all issues involving the government actually involves several ministries.