PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today gave his first address of the year, reminding civil servants and ministers to put aside their differences and personal feelings and make new year resolutions that will benefit the country.
He said the government machinery and the ministers have an important role to play to ensure Malaysia is developed by 2030.
“The cooperation between staff and ministers is important. We need to keep aside personal feelings.
“We have introduced a new Shared Prosperity 2030 programme and a lot of work needs to be done,” he told hundreds of civil servants at the Prime Minister’s Department staff assembly here.
This is why, he said, everyone needs to work hard from the start of 2020 as “the new year gives us a new start to make resolutions so our country will achieve developed nation status”.
Don’t be jealous of the rich and keep away from corruption
Mahathir also told the civil servants not to be jealous of the rich as the country needs them to pay taxes.
He said Malaysia practises free economy where those who work hard “reap their fruits with higher income”.
“Some make billions of ringgit and (we get) jealous when they are rich. These feelings should not be allowed.
“We need them to pay higher taxes … some of them pay hundreds of millions which is used to pay government salaries and to develop the country, ” he said.
He said if all the citizens remain poor, the government will not be able to collect taxes.
“Where will we get money to run the country? We need to know that there is a place for rich and poor. But the rich need to help not only through corporate social responsibility but also through taxes,” he said.
Mahathir also reminded the civil servants that differences between races, urban and rural areas, and states and federal territories remain.
To overcome this, he called for proper planning from the government and for the poor to take initiatives to improve their income level.
“Why are they poor? Because they are not productive to the rakyat,” he said, asking the government machinery to explain to the poor to be productive as more subsidies have not helped them.
He said the government has implemented measures to increase their income and “of course, some don’t have skills but they can overcome it by working hard”.
Mahathir also advised civil servants not to indulge in corruption or any kind of wrongdoing.
“We have seen in some countries where corruption is widespread even though they are rich,” he said.
He told them the rakyat “will be thankful if we work hard on their behalf”.
Mahathir, who had launched Vision 2020 in the early 1990s, said he is confident Malaysia can become a developed nation by 2030 “but only if everyone works hard”.
“We can produce a drone, a sophisticated item. And we will continue to develop sophisticated items so that we are considered modern to compete with developed nations,” he said.
He wound up his address by saying Malaysia has a vision and “I hope 2020 will be the start to our success so that by 2030 we will be a developed country”.