PUTRAJAYA: Efforts to mould a Bangsa Malaysia will be successful if more programmes are adopted as a national endeavour, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He added that the media could play a pivotal role by convincing the people to not only support such projects, but more importantly, to take part in them.
The Deputy Prime Minister said publications like The Star could play a part by giving emphasis and publicity on the government’s efforts in promoting nation-building, including national service.
“Even though the programme has some weaknesses, it is important that we support efforts that can strengthen national unity,” he said at the launch of mStar Online, The Star’s Bahasa Malaysia news portal, at his office on Monday.
“The more programmes are adopted as national programmes, the more successful we will be in creating a Bangsa Malaysia, which has been our hope and aspiration,” he added.
Also present at the event were the newspaper’s group managing director Datuk Steven Tan, group chief editor Datuk Wong Sulong, deputy group general manager Datin Linda Ngiam, deputy group chief editor (I) Michael Aeria, deputy group chief editor (II) Datuk Wong Chun Wai, mStar Online editor Sidek Kamiso and other senior management personnel.
The Deputy Prime Minister said The Star’s efforts in setting up a Bahasa Malaysia website was timely as it provided more information avenues for Malaysians, especially those who were more fluent in the language.
“I am confident the approach mStar Online takes will help in national unity and racial integration, and this is an effort for which we must continue to strive for,” he added.
Najib also said mStar Online can help project Malaysia's image internationally, especially to the Malay world even though most of its population could not speak the language, noting that neither the Malay community in Cape Town, South Africa, nor those in Mindanao, the Philippines, understood Bahasa Malaysia.
“They look Malay, and ethnically, they are part of the Malay world, but they do not understand the language.
“But I am sure that happenings in Malaysia will probably attract their attention. Even if they don’t understand the language, maybe they can get the drift of it.
“I would like to commend The Star for taking this initiative, which will certainly enhance its role and influence as a major publication. You are now the leading publication in the English language and are making a foray into Bahasa Malaysia.
“This is in line with our ultimate goal of having each and every Malaysian fluent in both (English and Bahasa Malaysia),'' he said.
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