Sunday, June 8, 2008


Get true picture: PM
Abdullah hopes people will receive correct information on global fuel price hike


Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday he hoped the people will get the correct information on the global fuel price hike phenomenon so that they can really understand what the country was facing. “Each and everyone of us has a role and responsibility in facing these trying times. As such, let’s together face this challenge with resilience for the greater good of the nation and our future generations,” he said. The Prime Minister said this in his speech at an investiture held in conjunction with the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday at Istana Negara here. “The Government has held out for as long as possible to protect the people from fuel price hikes but the price of oil has risen steeply and rapidly in the world market,” he said. Abdullah said in January2007, the price of crude oil in the world market was only around US$50 (USD1=RM3.29) a barrel. Now, 18 months later, it had risen to almost US$130 a barrel and analysts were predicting it would continue to rise up to US$200 a barrel, he said. “In this situation, the fact is Government expenditure will not be able to meet the difference between controlled selling prices and of that in the world market despite higher revenues gained by Petronas,” stressed Abdullah, adding that this was a challenge that all Malaysians had to bear. The Prime Minister also said the Government was aware that the fuel price hikes had caused uneasiness and worry among the population. The Government would do all it could to alleviate the burden experienced by the people, especially by those in the lower income group and among the steps to be taken was increasing direct aid to them apart from assuring prices of essential goods remained affordable, he said. He said the Government would also take steps to save on public sector expenditure, increase the range of goods under the price control scheme, improve public transportation and postpone projects that are not urgently needed. Nonetheless, he said many challenges still needed to be tackled to ensure the nation continued to move forward. He said among these was the slowdown in world economic growth as a result of a stagnant United States economy, which had spill-over effects on Europe besides emerging and developing economies. In spite of all these, Abdullah said the national economy experienced encouraging growth last year proving the nation was on the right track. “Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth last year was at 6.3 per cent despite a challenging world environment. “All sectors recorded strong growth in particular the services, construction, mining and plantation sectors. Consumer demand growth also was healthy at 11.8 percent,” he said. He said the Government had also succeeded in reducing the national deficit to 3.2 per cent, achieving economic growth that was supported by a resilient domestic economy and having a more diversified economic structure. “These achievements clearly show the Government is always implementing policies and economic 4 management strategies that are flexible and pragmatic,” stressed the Prime Minister. In his speech Abdullah also touched on the Government’s commitment on efforts to further improve the quality of living of the people. “Average household income of Malaysians increased from RM3,249 in 2004 to RM3,686 in 2007, an average increase of more than 4.3 per cent a year,” he said. On poverty, Abdullah said the poverty rate had also been further reduced, from 5.7 per cent in 2004 to 3.6 per cent in 2007 while for hardcore poverty it dropped from 1.2 per cent to 0.7 per cent during the same period. On efforts to combat corruption, the Prime Minister said reforms were being undertaken to make the Anti-Corruption Agency a full-fledged commission while a Parliamentary Select Committee on Corruption Prevention had also been set-up.:- Bernama


Chief Justice heads King’s birthday award recipients


Chief Justice Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Mohamad led 37 recipients of federal awards, decorations and medals at the investiture in conjunction with the birthday of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, at Balairong Seri of Istana Negara yesterday. He was bestowed the “Seri Setia Mahkota Malaysia” (SSM) which carries the title “Tun”. Gerakan Adviser and former Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid also received the same award. Seventeen people received the “Panglima Setia Mahkota” (PSM), which carries the “Tan Sri” title, 15 were awarded the “Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) and two people the “Panglima Setia Diraja” (PSD). The PJN and PSD carry the title “Datuk”. Leading the PSM recipients were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz, MCA Deputy President and former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, Treasury Secretary-General Datuk Seri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob. Deputy Secretary-General (Cabinet) in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mazidah Abdul Majid, Universiti Sains Malaysia Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Dzulkffli Abdul Razak, International Trade and Industry Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Abdul Rahman Mamat, Deputy Inspector- General of Police Datuk Ismail Omar. Historian and Suhakam Commissioner Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim, Malaysian Qualifications Agency Chairman Datuk Dr Muhammad Rais Abdul Karim, former Syariah Judiciary Department Director-General and Syariah Court Judge Datuk Sheikh Ghazali Abdul Rahman. Former Air Force Chief Air Vice Marshall (Rtd) Datuk Sulaiman Sujak, Kelantan Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Datuk Seri Annuar Musa, Malaysia Airlines Chairman Datuk Dr Munir Majid, Gadang Holdings Bhd Chief Executive and Managing Director Datuk Kok Onn, Tomei Consolidated Group Bhd Executive Chairman Datuk Ng Teck Fong and RAM Holdings Bhd Deputy Executive Chairman Datuk C. Rajandram. Among the PJN recipients were Public Service Department (development) Deputy Director Datuk Abdul Khalil Abdul Hamid, Deputy Senior Secretary-General in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohtar Abas, Human Resources Ministry Secretary- General Datuk Thomas George, Royal Malaysian Air Force Deputy Chief Lt-Jen Datuk Bashir Abu Bakar, Permatang Pauh MIC Division Head P. Subbaiyah and WSA Capital Corporation Group Sdn Bhd Managing Director Dr Wan Mohamed Wan Embong. The two people who received the PSD were Armed Forces Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Mej-Jen Datuk Abdul Aziz Ibrahim and Datuk Awang Kechik Abdul Rahman. A total of 1,862 people have been honoured with federal awards, decorations and medals on the occasion of the King’s birthday this year. Present at the investiture were Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and their wives, Cabinet Ministers, dignitaries and foreign diplomats. Meanwhile, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps Aifredo Raoul Morelli, who is also Argentine Ambassador to Malaysia, in his speech, hoped that Malaysia would continue to scale greater heights under the patronage of Tuanku Mizan. -Bernama