KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — The government will strengthen efforts to boost foreign investor confidence by guaranteeing good governance and a corrupt-free Malaysia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim this is because the government has received a list of investors from countries such as Europe, the United States, China, India and several countries around Asia who will be monitoring developments in Malaysia themselves, especially from the economic aspects.
“We hope there is a new focus that can increase and drive economic growth more convincingly. This is necessary because Malaysia is a trading country that has all this while recorded an economic growth rate based on our efforts to secure domestic and foreign investment.
“Besides political stability and good governance, another step that should be taken is to speed up the approval process by ensuring that Malaysia is not a place where leaders amass wealth and look for commissions,” he said.
The prime minister said this in his New Year 2023 message that was broadcast live over local television stations tonight.
With regard to this, Anwar warned that he will not tolerate public servants and enforcement bodies found to be ‘negligent’ in their duties with their ‘old practices’ of asking for kickbacks and imposing additional costs.
“I will not tolerate this negligence that has destroyed the country all this time. I am asking for your cooperation because I know a large number of civil servants and this small (corrupt) group understand this, and this group must be eliminated.
“Hopefully there will be repentance, otherwise, strong and harsh action must be taken,” he said.
Anwar said he also does not want these political shortcomings to continue and for positions to be seen as an opportunity to amass wealth.
“I would like to touch on attacks that seem to imply that we in the government are involved in such matters. I would like to say that our conduct is clear here, and the enforcement bodies have been given full authority to monitor,” he said.
At the same time, he also reminded government agencies to adopt a culture of moderation and to prevent wastage, in addition to ensuring all government-linked companies (GLCs) are monitored, expenditure included.
Anwar said he does not want the often-touted term, ‘paradigm shift’, to not be practised in the right manner, especially in terms of development that involves the well-being of the people at the grassroots level.
“We will continue with development but let’s not trivialise, ignore the fate of the needy. That is the concept of development written in the Quran, the concept of physical development cannot be separated from the values of life, morals and piety,” he said.
Meanwhile, in dealing with racism or religious prejudice that often punishes without being based on facts, the prime minister said the Unity Government will intensify religious community activities, studies and training in mosques for young people.
He also wants efforts to be taken to enhance religious understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims so as to prevent the seeds of Islamophobia, which he said were planted since colonial times, from influencing and confusing society’s thinking.