KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — On the final day of 2019, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded that some Malaysians were dissatisfied with the Pakatan Harapan administration’s performance over the year.
However, he said the government took note of the public’s unhappiness and pledged that the ruling coalition would do better, before urging the country to back his administration’s efforts to deliver this.
“While there is a bit of anxiety in the face of unforeseen events that can be devastating and frustrating, on the whole, we have to be confident that the effort we put into 2019 will be fruitful in 2020.
“The government is aware that throughout 2019 there were some issues that cause dissatisfaction among the people.
“We recognise and take note of these voices and efforts to develop this country remain the government’s main responsibility,” he told the thousands who attended the New Year’s eve event at Dataran Merdeka last night.
Dr Mahathir said that 2020 was particularly significant for him as it was the target for Vision 2020 that he introduced in 1991.
He went on to concede that the goal to make Malaysia a developed nation this year will not be met, but said this was because Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak who succeeded him had deviated from his blueprint.
Abdullah succeeded Dr Mahathir when the latter left office after his stint as the fourth prime minister.
“Our hope is that 2020 will bring us more happiness and prosperity than 2019 that we have left with many bitter and sweet memories.
“However, due to the approaches taken year ago by the fifth and sixth government leaders, the Vision was not achieved and this year (2019) we had to extend that tenure for another 10 years,” he said.
In October, Dr Mahathir introduced the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030, a ten-year plan to guide Malaysia towards achieving the goals set for this year, with an added emphasis on narrowing income gaps in the country.
Dr Mahathir added that SPV 2030 would only be successful with the support of all sections of the country beginning now.
He went on to stress the importance of ensuring the nation’s wealth and development are felt by all layers of Malaysia.
“When the poor increase their income through opportunities introduced (by the government), the gap between the poor and the rich can be reduced,” he said.
More than 10,000 Malaysian came to welcome the new year in Kuala Lumpur last night, with people filling up Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Tun Perak and Padang Dataran Merdeka for the festivities.
At exactly midnight, a five-minute light show coordinated by Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Intel was projected into the night sky, along with several firework displays in other parts of Kuala Lumpur.
The light show highlighted the Visit Truly Asia Malaysia, the slogan for Visit Malaysia 2020 as well as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) that Malaysia will host this year.