KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today said that the government would engage non-governmental organisations as its strategic partner in championing the people’s well-being.
He said this being that the NGOs, as a new power, play an important role in championing the people’s interests.
“The NGOs, which are partners at the grassroots, and their leaders contribute their time and energy voluntarily to achieve their respective objectives, whether in championing for women’s right, persons with disabilities or protection for children.
“Therefore, they are part of our society whose role are becoming more important,” he said when opening the 1Malaysia People’s Welfare (KAR1SMA) programme at the Bukit Jalil Putra Stadium, here today.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was also present.
Najib said the government should be close with the NGOs, instead of waiting for them to come forward.
“We want to further enhance our outreach programme and we ensure that whatever decisions we make it is to facilitate channeling of government aid to the needy,” he added.
“This is our new package or approach. Don’t wait for them to come to us, we should go to them. Don’t trouble them, we should instead help to resolve their problems,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the approach was in line with the concept of empowering the social safety net that was being propagated compared with the welfare state concept practised by several developed nations.
He said that most welfare states had suffered setbacks in terms of the economy because the government was providing everything demanded by the people, which did not necessarily strive for progress.
Such an attitude, he said, could result in the competitive edge, resoluteness and inner strength held by a nation becoming weaker and causing the manufacturing and economic sector shifting to the Asian region including Malaysia, where the people had been proven to be hardworking and diligent.
“We don’t practise the welfare state but adopt the policy of empowering the social safety net to assist the group who need assistance from the government without destroying the good values which we should inculcate among the people,” he said.
“In Malaysia, I emphasise that we must work hard, that’s why when our football team recently won the SEA Games gold medal, many people had twitted me asking whether there would be a public holiday.
“I said that if we win, we should work even harder, that’s our gift,” he said, adding that the policy should not be compared with the welfare state because the two had different connotations.
Najib said the government was also committed to continue to champion the cause of the handicapped group without weakening their spirit to be self-sufficient.
He said the government’s commitment in helping the group was translated in the increase in the allocation for the ministry led by Shahrizat from RM1.2 billion to RM1.4 billion this year.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister thanked the more than 20 participants, representing 1,627 NGOs and almost 20,000 members of the various organisations present at the function who had expressed their support to his leadership as well as to Shahrizat.
Source : Bernama