SAN FRANCISCO: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has chided certain group of Malaysians living abroad, who only know how to criticise the government, but do not contribute to the country.
The group, he said, should not be making negative criticisms about the country by basing their criticisms on certain allegations spun by certain quarters for their own political reasons.
"These people will criticise the country, but they do not have any idea on how to contribute to the country," he told a dinner gathering attended by Malaysian citizens and students, at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco Hotel here on Sunday night.
"We don't mind the criticisms, but do not believe them," he said, adding that he believed they (the citizens and students) had the ability to think and decide for themselves whether the allegations were true or otherwise.
Najib said there were a lot more Malaysians living abroad who were economically active, having good strategies, very enterprising and they were usually doing well.
"I have met and talked to some of them, and they are very proud to be Malaysians," he said.
He said Malaysia had been very successful and come a long way in terms of development, from the small agriculture-based economy it used to be, to where it was now.
"We have set bold objectives and targets which are attainable and achievable, and these are important to nation building."
Najib said it was important for the multiracial, multicultural, multireligious society of Malaysia to strengthen the bonds between them to propel the country to greater heights.
"With an average of five to seven per cent yearly economic growth, we can even achieve the objectives of Vision 2020 (to become a developed and high-income nation) as early as 2018, or the latest by 2020. Our Vision 2020 is still on track," added the prime minister.
He said Malaysians were enjoying high per capita income as compared with citizens of other countries, and it was the duty of the government to ensure that the wealth of the nation was shared equitably among the society.
"If the wealth of the country is small, we should share it by a small percentage, so that it will not create political and social instability," he added.
He assured them that the government would give higher priority to education, and would spend more in educating the people in English, Mathematics and Science.
"It is important to realise that we have to create a conducive environment. We have to toil and slog to get the security and the stability that we are enjoying in the country now, so that you can dare to dream big dreams," said Najib.
He asked them to show the spirit of '1 Malaysia' to give a sense that "we are all together", and not to criticise the concept of '1 Malaysia', but to contribute to unity in a proactive manner.
He said he did not believe that Malaysians who were working, studying or residing abroad were less patriotic than those who remained in the country.
"We face challenges while working for a company overseas, but while you work, you can still help Malaysia, you can invite the company you are working for, to partner with other Malaysian companies and create innovations."
Najib said Malaysia was a successful country, and was known in a positive way by other people who had good opinions about the country, but there were still people who spread allegations and lies about Malaysia.
"I have been accused of manipulating the votes by bringing 40,000 voters from Bangladesh for the 13th General Election (GE13)...that is totally untrue...they are not able to prove their allegations, not even one evidence."
Najib said GE13 was conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia in an honest and fair manner.
He advised students and Malaysians living abroad to think in a critical and innovative way so that they could come up with ideas that could help develop Malaysia.
"The culture of innovation and entrepreneurial skills will bring the nation to the forefront. We should be working on how to project Malaysia at the global stage, so that Malaysia will always be in the forefront as a peaceful and successful nation. Think of how you can do your bit for Malaysia," urged the prime minister.
Some 300 Malaysians, including students, living in San Francisco and surrounding areas, attended the dinner.
Also present were Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and the Consul-General of Malaysia in Los Angeles, Nekmat Ismail.
Najib is on a working visit to the United States from Sept 22 to 29 to chair the 3rd Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council in San Francisco, and attend the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.