Sunday January 27, 2013
Najib: Social media a double-edged sword
PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has singled out social media as a double-edged sword for Barisan Nasional as the coalition prepares for the general election.
The Prime Minister and Barisan chairman said that with the advent of ICT, social media had turned into something that was “good” as well as a “bane”.
“(It) could be our Achilles heel as well,” he told anchor Fareed Zakaria in a CNN televised session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He acknowledged that voters nowadays had a higher level of expectations, were more educated and critical, and as such, the Government needed to do things differently.
“We need to realise people are not going to give their votes to you based on how much you have done in the past.
“No one can deny the fact that Umno and Barisan are the ones who fought for independence and developed the country but today people are saying that was in the past, we want to know what you can do for us in the future,” he said.
If he was re-elected as Prime Minister, Najib pledged that he would do “everything and anything possible” to make Malaysia a fully developed nation by 2020.
He also said non-bumiputras did not oppose affirmative action policy as long as it was fair and transparent.
“By and large, the non-Malays in Malaysia, the non-bumiputras, don't actually oppose affirmative action. But what they want is the way you implement the policy (that) should be done in a more transparent and fairer way,” he said.
He said policies were already in place towards meritocracy based on needs rather than race and cited entry into local universities as an example.
Najib also cited the Economic Transformation Programme and Strategic Reform Initiatives to propel the country forward.
He said the country had recorded an average growth of 5% and in the third quarter of last year, it was at 5.2%. He pointed out that the GNI per capita income had increased by 45%, from US$6,700 (RM20,390) in 2009 to US$9,750 (RM29,680) last year.
“The results speak for themselves; a real change and progress is taking place in Malaysia,” he said.
On another matter, Najib said the threats from militants had receded “quite substantially” in South-East Asia as a result of cooperation between regional countries including Indonesia and the Philippines.
Citing Malaysia's involvement in hosting peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Najib said it was a huge contribution towards peace and a moderate form of Islam in the region.
On his visit to Gaza, Najib said he stressed to Hamas both privately and in his speech that his visit was purely on humanitarian grounds and not aimed at interfering with their internal politics.
“I came with a mission and basically to tell them you have to be united and form a unity government. Once you have a unity government, then you should negotiate with Israel',” he said.