Najib says 1 Malaysia more than just rhetoric
By Shannon Teoh
June 22, 2011
Najib said today that the 1 Malaysia concept will help improve the lives of the public through several initiatives. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Two years after coming to office with his 1 Malaysia concept, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the slogan was more than empty rhetoric but a policy that will improve the lives of the public.
He said the 1 Malaysia concept promises to prioritise the people with improvements in public service delivery and economic reforms.
“1 Malaysia is also products and services which will lighten the burden of the people and improve their quality of life,” the prime minister said at the launch of the pioneer Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia (KR1M) thrift store at the Kelana Jaya LRT station today.
He said that this included other initiatives such as the Klinik Rakyat 1 Malaysia which provided affordable healthcare for all Malaysians.
The KR1M, mooted by the government but operated by local retail giants Mydin, promises essential goods at up to 50 per cent discount, in hopes of countering surging inflation.
According to Mydin, the pilot store will sell 1 Malaysia-branded goods such as rice, milk and diapers without profit-motivation.
The move comes as Putrajaya was forced to make cuts to a subsidy bill that would otherwise have doubled to RM21 billion this year while it grapples with inflation that hit a two-year high of three per cent in March and continued climbing to 3.3 per cent last month.
If successful, the store will spawn more outlets in other rail stations that cater to lower income commuters, Mydin managing director Datuk Ameer Ali told reporters earlier this week.
“The cost of promotion usually adds 25 to 30 per cent to the price tag. With the 1 Malaysia brand, it is the PM himself who is providing the promotion,” he said.
Basic household goods such as sweetened creamer are being sold at KR1M at RM1.95 instead of RM2.80, and diapers at RM20.50 instead of over RM40 as found in Mydin stores.
Najib added that KR1M was an example of public-private partnerships that would help the poor and low-income group.
The prime minister is expected to call a general election within the year but recent hikes to fuel, electricity and sugar prices have sparked public anger, leading to protests from groups such as fishermen, whose recent strike caused a spike in seafood prices.
The government has repeatedly explained that it must cut subsidies to ensure that the budget deficit, which hit a two-decade high of seven per cent in 2009, is reined in to a projected 5.4