3 April 2007

Menarik Hari Ini (Selasa 3 April 2007)

Proton: Abdullah sedia bincang dengan Volkswagen

KUALA LUMPUR 2 April – Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini menyatakan kesediaannya menemui pegawai kanan Volkswagen AG (VW) bagi membincangkan mengenai cadangan menjalin hubungan strategik dengan Proton.

‘‘Saya menunggu kedatangan ketuanya bagi membincangkan perkata itu, beliau telah membayangkan untuk berjumpa saya, mungkin bila-bila masa.

‘‘Buat masa ini saya berada di Malaysia, tidak pergi ke luar negara,’’ katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri Persidangan Ketua-Ketua Misi Malaysia, di sini hari ini.

Abdullah ditanya mengenai laporan bahawa beliau akan mengadakan pertemuan dengan pegawai kanan VW mengenai cadangan menjalin hubungan strategik dengan Proton.

Menurut Perdana Menteri, siri perbincangan dengan rakan kongsi strategik berpotensi hampir dimuktamadkan.

‘‘Perundingan di peringkat pegawai hampir dimuktamadkan. Mereka harus membentangkan laporan penuh kepada saya.

‘‘Tiada tempoh tamat ditetapkan bagi membincangkan mengenai rakan kongsi Proton, malah kami mahu ia dimuktamadkan secepat mungkin,’’ katanya.

Menteri Kewangan Kedua, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop Jumaat lalu berkata, kerajaan tidak dapat mengumumkan nama rakan kongsi strategik Proton pada tarikh akhir seperti ditetapkan iaitu akhir Mac.

Abdullah turut ditanya mengenai perbincangan rakan strategik antara Proton dan General Motors Corporation (GM).

‘‘Perkara ini terpulang kepada pihak Proton untuk buat keputusan. Jika perlu ada pertemuan dan perbincangan, mungkin kemudian mereka akan bincang,’’ jelasnya.

Daripada: www.utusan.com.my

Raja Nazrin Outlines Formula For Nation Building

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Bernama) -- The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, Tuesday outlined seven steps that Malaysia has to take to ensure that it continues to be successful at nation building.

Firstly, he said, Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations needed to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun.

"Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul," he said in a keynote address entitled "Prospects and Challenges for Nation Building" at the Young Malaysians' Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia organised by the Bar Council and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) there today.

"In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulate the rights, hopes and aspirations of the population in a way that no other documents do. The integrity of these documents must be defended and promoted, especially the first," he said.

Secondly, care must be taken not to assume away problems, he said, adding that nation building was required precisely because there were stark differences within the society.

"If we all walked, talked and thought the same, it would probably not be needed. There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others."

They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant. The existence of these groups, however, does not mean that nation building is a futile exercise. It does mean that we must be prepared to negotiate our way through and around these differences.

"We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them," he added.

Nation building required accommodation and compromise, he said.

"In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical. We should not allow perfection to be the enemy of the good. Yes, we should seek the best solutions and expect the highest standards of performance.

"But we should also be prepared to sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole," he said.

Raja Nazrin said the virtues of pure self-interest were largely a myth. What seemed to be a reality was that individuals end up worse off when they act out of self-interest, as opposed to acting in their collective group interests.

The fourth formula that Raja Nazrin proposed is that enforced solutions must be avoided. Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence.

"'Might' cannot and must not be shown to be 'right'. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means."

Nation building, he said, occurred when society is open, tolerant and forward-looking."So important are these values that they are embedded in Vision 2020's nine strategic challenges, as are those of mature democracy, caring society and innovation.

"Only by being inclusive can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against."

They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally, he added.

"Nation building is a process rather than an outcome. When Malaysia started off fifty years ago, there were no examples to study.

"There were no manuals to follow. While a sense of impatience is perhaps fully understandable, nation building takes place over a period of time and only with persistence. Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no co-operative network, one has to be established.

"Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable," he said.

Lastly, Raja Nazrin said, the political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad.

"I know that this statement is virtually self-evident, but it is a fact that many countries are as likely to punish good behaviour as to reward it. After all, if there are benefits for corruption, then there is a real cost to being honest," he said.

The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high, he added.

He said the biggest challenge to nation building was having to balance the need for change with that of continuity, particularly in facing globalisation, which had unleashed sweeping economic, political, social and cultural transformations that had weakened the national institutions, values and norms.

On future leaders, Raja Nazrin said that if the young people were to be good leaders and citizens, they must be exposed to more than just abstract concepts.

Good and upright leadership must be demonstrated and those found to be able must be mentored by the capable.

"The young should be allowed to make mistakes along the way as part of their overall learning process," he said.

Daripada: www.bernama.com

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