1. On behalf of all Malaysians, I would like to thank YABhg. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his 31 years of exemplary public service to our country, his commitment to strengthening the institutions and fabric of our democracy and for his graceful example as our leader.
2. I am grateful to YABhg. Tun for his confidence in proposing my name as Prime Minister to Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and I am honoured that His Majesty has consented to my appointment with this morning’s swearing-in ceremony. I feel a deep sense of humility at the opportunity to serve as your Prime Minister at an important time in our nation’s history.
My life has been dedicated to public service.
Growing up, I was inspired by the positive impact of public service in the example of my late father. Four decades on, I remain committed to the goals of tackling poverty; of restructuring our society; of expanding access to quality education for all; and of inspiring a new generation of young Malaysians to work on behalf of this great country.
My own service in government has always been about getting results: to ensure a better deal for teachers, to improve conditions for our brave soldiers, and to strengthen our economy in defence of the people of Malaysia, as we deal with the outbreak of a global recession.
3. In the coming weeks, I will be consulting with people around our country, as I begin to reshape the leadership and priorities of the Government. I am mindful that we should build on the successes and lessons of the past. It must be a government with new approaches for new times – a government that places a priority on performance, because the people must come first.
4. We must reach out to all parts of Malaysia - to all our diverse communities. In our national discourse and in pursuing our national agenda, we must never leave anyone behind. We must reach out to the many who may have been disaffected and left confused by political games, deceit and showmanship.
We must draw on talented people across our nation, regardless of their position or background, to re-energize a passion for public service. We must sow the seeds of goodwill and understanding in every corner of this land, so that we continue to harvest the fruits of progress and prosperity for all Malaysians.
We must seek to include and unlock the potential of our young people who will be the next generation of leaders, businesspeople, engineers, scientists, teachers and doctors. We must give them wings to fly.
5. And so today, I pledge that I will work tirelessly to serve all of you.
6. In this spirit, I would like to announce that the government has decided with immediate effect, to remove the temporary ban on TWO news publications, release 13 detainees from ISA detention, and conduct a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act. Additional details will be announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs shortly.
7. These decisions are timely as we move to enhance the confidence of our citizens in those entrusted with maintaining peace, law and order, while recognizing the need to remain vigilant of the very real security threats we continue to face as a young nation.
8. I know that for every citizen, these are hard times and I remain focused in providing strong leadership to lead us out of this economic crisis and unleash our full potential as a nation. I will be steadfast in my commitment to meet the needs, aspirations and concerns of all Malaysians.
9. So, today I ask you to join me in this task of renewing Malaysia. I urge us to rise to the challenge of building a One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.
10. Let us begin this great journey together.