PETALING JAYA: Government leaders are welcoming the new year by making resolutions ranging from doing more for the environment to improving the nation’s economy.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed hope that Malaysians can achieve greater heights in 2019.
Dr Mahathir wished the new year will be meaningful and motivate everyone to work towards bigger achievements.
“We have gone through a tough 2018. Many bittersweet incidents happened throughout the year.
“Hopefully, all resolutions made earlier this year have been achieved,” he said in a one-minute video posted on his Facebook page.Mahathir also expressed hope that all victories and failures faced by the people will be turned into a lesson.
“My wife (Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali) and I wish a Happy New year to all Malaysians,” he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has listed several new year’s resolutions for 2019, among which is to take care of the environment.
“I wish to reduce the use of plastic in an effort to save the turtles which are close to extinction, and to recycle more,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said she is also determined to maintain a healthier lifestyle by reducing her intake of sugar and carbohydrates while exercising more.
She also intends to be more wary of passive smoke, and pledges to protect her loved ones from the dangers of smoking.
The most important thing, however, is to be a better Malaysian, she added.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, in his new year’s greeting, said that his priority now is to boost the nation’s economic growth for the prosperity and well-being of the people.
Azmin also said that the first six months of New Malaysia under the leadership of Dr Mahathir have been a process of recalibration towards new directions, priorities and imperatives to move the Malaysian economy forward.
“Our journey ahead will be challenging and it will take hard work, perseverance and sacrifice to return Malaysia to greatness as an Asian Tiger once again, an economic miracle of the region that holds true to principles of democracy, justice, unity and trust as the legacy of this nation,” he said.
He added that 2018 has been a historical year, in which people’s desire to be free from corruption was translated through Pakatan’s victory in the 14th General Election.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the economic well-being of the rakyat will continue to be emphasised by the government, adding that economic indicators have been very encouraging.
Lim said this could be seen in the increase of 250% to RM49bil in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first nine months of 2018, the increase of exports to RM96.4bil and a low inflation rate of 1.2%.
“We must bear in mind that the global economic situation is facing more severe challenges compared to the ones faced by us in Malaysia.
“Therefore, we are convinced that if the rakyat are united, regardless of race, religion or background, we will be strong and stable as a nation in overcoming all future economic challenges,” he said.
Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said 2019 is going to be the year where the ministry will be looking to produce more productive human capital to lead into a more challenging phase of competitiveness regionally and globally.
He agreed with Dr Mahathir’s suggestion to give women more opportunities in the government and the private sector while also ensuring that they are not being discriminated against.
Kulasegaran said in the year ahead, more emphasis will be given on hiring persons with disabilities and getting retirees back into the workforce, as well as helping the youth.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, in his new year message, said the policies, legislation and other matters under the purview of the ministry will be progressively improved.
“The elements of communications and multimedia are important milestones of government administration and service to the people, with technological development driving mutual development and well-being,” he said in the message published in a video format by the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (Finas).
Gobind said a more focused new strategic framework had been set up with the vision of a “Connected, Informed, Creative and Digital Community” in the strategy of empowering the ministry operations.
Malaysians’ hopes and dreams for the new year
Malaysians ring in the new year