Chinese not ‘pendatang’, says Najib

19 Oct 2015 / 12:01 H.

SHAH ALAM: The Chinese in Malaysia are not "pendatang" and they have contributed to the country's development tremendously, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today.
Thanking the Chinese community for its contributions to the nation, the premier dismissed the notion that the Chinese are ungrateful immigrants.
"As far as I am concerned, the Chinese have contributed to the spectacular growth of Malaysia," Najib said when opening the Gerakan National Delegates Conference.
"You have all played your part, and you are not 'pendatang'. "You are the sons of Malaysia. You were born here, grew up here, and when you die, you will be buried or your ashes will be scattered here. We are all Malaysians."
He then promised that action will be taken against those in the Barisan Nasional (BN) who made racially provocative statements.
"I realise there are some statements made by certain parties in BN, and within Umno itself. If there are such statements, we will deal with it, whether through law enforcement or party discipline."
Najib said gutter politics should not be practised in Malaysia, especially insults against national leaders.
"People should not be so insolent. Remember the law of physics ... For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and in politics it is the same.
"If you insult the leaders of this country then there will be a reaction from their supporters. The best thing to do is not to insult or humiliate others," he said.
Pledging that BN is committed to the policy of moderation and consensus in decision making.
Najib said there is no need to worry about extremist voices which are the minority.
He gave the assurance that vernacular schools, which are part of the social contract agreed by Malaysia's founding fathers, are here to stay.
"Every once in a while some will say that a single stream education system is ideal, but vernacular schools are in our social contract. We live with it, as it has already been decided since independence," Najib said.
Najib, who is also finance minister, also addressed the issue of toll hikes, saying the government has to abide by the toll concession agreements, which were signed 20 years ago.
"Sometimes, we have no choice but to increase (tolls) ... if we don't increase then we have to pay compensation to the concessionaires," said Najib, adding that the government has paid RM580 million in such compensation.
He said if the government continues to pay such compensation to toll concessionaires, then there would be less money for other things like BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid).
He also defended policies such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying that the government cannot be populist in its administration.
"It is easy to say that the government is not sensitive to the people, but something has got to give. You can't say 'don't raise anything'. If revenue goes down then what choice do we have?" he asked.
Najib said the fall of crude oil prices is one of the major contributing factors, as even Petronas will be paying significantly reduced dividends next year.
He said Petronas had informed him it will only be paying RM9 billion in dividends next year, as compared to the RM26 billion it paid this year.
Najib said that Budget 2016, which will be tabled in the coming Parliament sitting, will be one of his most difficult so far but he is thankful that the GST is providing additional revenue.
"I know the people are cursing GST, but without it we will have to increase other taxes. Only one out of 10 Malaysians pay taxes.
"And yet you only need to pay RM1 for seeing a doctor, RM5 for consultations in a government hospital, RM500 for a bypass operation."
He said the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) is asking for a three-month bonus.
"One month's bonus is RM5.6 billion, three months is more than RM15 billion. Where do we find RM15 billion?" he asked.
Meanwhile, commenting on the arrest of dissenters, Najib denied the notion that Malaysia is a police state, saying fewer people had been arrested in his six-year tenure as prime minister compared with past administrations.
He said he had even repealed the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 2012 in an effort to make Malaysia a more matured democracy on the road to become a developed nation by 2020.

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