PUTRAJAYA, Jan 19 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday outlined six priority areas as part of efforts to drive the nation’s economy and protect the people’s well-being. He said the measures include those relating to the need to make changes and interventions in the wake of the weak global economy caused partly by the crude oil price slump.
Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly here, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said he would announce the economic modifications and interventions Tuesday. On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said its implementation on April 1 could help the government’s efforts to introduce fiscal consolidation measures to make the country’s finances strong and resilient.
Najib said the 11th Malaysia Plan scheduled to be tabled in May needs to incorporate all measures that could help Malaysia achieve developed nation status by 2020. On efforts to build and repair houses damaged in the recent floods, he said they should be expedited so as to reduce the burden on those affected.
On the security threat, the prime minister stressed the need for certain quarters including the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to clarify the meaning of jihad in order to avoid confusion and prevent the people from joining militant groups like the Islamic State (IS).
“We must really explain so that no one gets the wrong idea of what they should do as a Muslim,” he said, adding a proposed law to prevent violence will be tabled in March. On Asean, the final priority area, Najib said Malaysia will be more comprehensively promoted this year with Kuala Lumpur chosen as the chair of the regional grouping.
“As the Asean chair we will announce the Asean Community this year, and all efforts made should put Malaysia’s image in the best possible light,” he said. Najib also expressed hope that 2015 would strengthen bonds and the people could act in the spirit of equality to face the future.