Reach out to Malaysians abroad

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Reach out to Malaysians abroad to help promote country, says Najib

SINGAPORE: The Malaysian Government is reaching out to Malaysians abroad to help promote the country.

“The new dimension in our consideration now is that we do not look at Malaysians abroad as having lost them for good. I think they want Malaysians to reach out to them,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Let’s make the connection and benefit from them. We want to reach out to all of you and you help us,” he said, adding that they could help promote Malaysian interests while doing their own jobs in their respective countries.

Najib was speaking to more than 100 people, mainly Malaysians living or working in Singapore at a dinner hosted by him and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor on the sidelines of the Apec Summit here on Friday.
Power lunch: Najib chatting with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before an Apec Summit lunch event at the Presidential Palace in Singapore Saturday. — AFP

He stressed that Malaysians living and working overseas cannot be considered unpatriotic or disloyal.

“I find Malaysians working overseas, including Singapore, have strong feelings, vibes and wanting to do something for Malaysia.

“We should capitalise on this and leverage on their presence here to enhance our networking, promote Malaysia in Singapore, make connections and even look for investors,” he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about Malaysia re-adjusting its economic and growth strategies to take into account the changing environment and the global economy.

He said the Government realised that more excitement and buzz needed to be created about Malaysia in its efforts to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.

“The only way we could ensure enough supply of knowledge workers with the right skills and brains was to create more opportunities in the country,” he said.

“If we can do this, we not only attract Malaysians working abroad, but also expatriates to work and live in the country.”

Najib stressed that Malaysia must not fall short of having its own number of talented people.

Speaking at a press conference later, Najib said among the strategies to get Malaysians to return to the country to work was a 15% tax incentive offered within Iskandar Malaysia.

“For Iskandar, we want Malaysians to come back and work in priority areas,” he added.