KUALA LUMPUR: Changes in the judiciary and forming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) are among the achievements that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is proud of.
“Changes are already done in the judiciary. On combating corruption, the MACC has already been established to further strengthen efforts,” he said during a dinner organised by the Kuala Lumpur Business Club at a hotel here last night.
“It may not be the best, but it is a beginning. I am confident that there will be more amendments to improve the legislations,” Abdullah said, adding that he was happy to have been able to fulfil what he had set out to accomplish.
He said the people must be responsible despite having an increased level of freedom to express themselves during his tenure as Prime Minister.
“I know I have a higher level of tolerance but if we were to allow more freedom, the people must be responsible. The media as well as bloggers should also be more responsible when disseminating information,” Abdullah said.
Asked whether he would follow former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s footsteps and blog after he steps down, Abdullah said: “I’m not going to blog. But I would love to play more golf and plant vegetables as well as grow fruit trees.”
He also urged the public to continue to work hard during the global economic crisis as the nation has weathered many challenges in the past.
“We must also believe in our ability to survive. That is, in fact, my personal philosophy,” he added.
Abdullah said although the private sector was usually the agent of growth during such economic downturns, the Government must be the agent of economic recovery.
“This is because we can execute policies and changes to boost the troubled economy. This is what we have to do and it is what we are doing,” he said.
Asked to divulge the focus of the second stimulus package, Abdullah asked the people to be patient as he would announce its details on March 10.
“The various ministries were asked to give suggestions on what to include in the package. But what is more important is that effective spending is practised,” he said.
“We can have a larger package this time but it must be implemented wisely or else it would be a waste of money,” he added.
Abdullah said the country’s aim to achieve growth this year despite the economic crisis was still realistic if the task was given priority.
“Such effective spending must be targeted at specific projects to improve the country’s performance and growth,” he said, adding that the plan must also ensure that retrenchment is minimised.
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