Monday, December 31, 2007



Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has expressed the Government’s hope that former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat will settle the Mazu statue issue amicably without going to court. Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Government officers at the Magellan Sutera here yesterday, Najib said the Government is hoping to bring the Mazu statue issue back to the negotiation table instead of going through the court. “I cannot make an open statement on the matter now because it could be considered subjudice but I believe it is in consideration of the State Government,” he said. “If possible, we want to discuss and not go through the court,” he added when asked to comment on the suit filed by Chong against the State Government on the suspension of the multi-million ringgit Mazu statue project in Kudat. Meanwhile, speaking at the meeting earlier, Na jib said members of the civil service must constantly strive to improve themselves to ensure they are not left behind in the wake of globalisation. He said the greatly increased pace of change in this day and age makes it necessary for each and every member of the civil service to develop their skills as the country’s competitiveness hinges on their ability to keep up. “In the fast-changing world,we need to have an attitude of never remaining static. You either get better or worse and you have a choice,” he said. “If you remain static, and only think of maintaining the status quo, then you will become worse off and regress. We must strive to find ways and means to get better. “We need to look at ourselves as individuals and look at the organisation and figure out how our role in our official capacity and individual capacity can be developed through a process of continuous improvement,” he said. Najib,who is also Minister of Defence, stressed that the efficiency of the civil service has a direct bearing on the country’s global competitiveness. “This is why our Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi)is constantly pushing the delivery system because it is closely related to our competitive edge. “Our hope is to make Malaysia better and to do that we need to go for continuous improvement at both organisation and individual levels,” he said. Najib noted that this mind set, coupled with a strong commitment, are necessary to ensure the Government achieves it target of zero hardcore poor in Sabah and halving the amount of relative poverty in the country by 2010. “The Government’s target is to bring down the rate of hardcore and relative poverty in Sabah drastically and to do this we need commitment of Government officers because they will have to invest their heart and soul into this mission,” he said. On the Sabah Development Corridor, Najib noted that the Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement on the project in the near future, with its launch expected to be pushed back next month.