LONDON, July 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is set to become a high-income developed nation as early as 2018, two years earlier than the targeted 2020, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia was on the right track to realise this target since the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme had started to show significant successes.
"Worldwide ranking improvements have shown that Malaysia is moving up its position on the world ladder. The World Bank ranked us at number 12 in its Doing Business Report 2013 and, recent surveys show that Malaysia is in line to achieve a high-income developed nation status as early as 2018," he said in his speech at â€œAn Evening With the Prime Minister" with Malaysians in London, at the Intercontinental Hotel, here Wednesday night.
Also present were Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Seri Zakaria Sulong and Tourism Malaysia Ambassador Datuk Jimmy Choo.
Najib said this was not possible without the hard work of all Malaysians, be it at home or abroad.
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"Malaysian diasporas are our assets who equally contribute to our progress at home," he added.
Najib also called on Malaysians, especially those living abroad, to assist Malaysia by dispelling untrue reports on the country so that more people would invest in or visit Malaysia.
"Good words from you about Malaysia would be very good indeed. I am sure you have come across, on various occasions, friends and colleagues who have commented negatively about Malaysia. And it is your task, as a Malaysian, to put Malaysia back in good light.
"Your honest remarks shall put them into perspective on a how the country is doing.
"Nothing beats good press than the 70,000 Malaysians residing in the United Kingdom, saying good things about Malaysia," he added.
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Najib hoped Malaysians abroad would always think about what they could do to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of the country and its people.
He said the government was committed to ensure a future laden with hope for every segment of the Malaysian society including the youth.
"We believe that the foundation of every state lies in the education of its youth," he added.
He said the government had also opened up the democratic process toward a more liberal system, for youths to excel and have their voices heard.
"The government will continue to engage the youth and include them as part of the process of nation building. This is imperative for the youths of today who will eventually take over the helm of leadership in the future," he added.