January 22, 2003

Malays need to be the best in education, says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR Jan 21 - Malays should strive to be the best when competing with the other races in the country in the field of education, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday night.
"Since the time of (former prime minister) Tunku (Abdul Rahman Putra), one matter which needs attention and has continued to be given attention as a matter of priority is to ensure that the bumiputera group could achieve the highest level of success in education," he said.
He said this at a question-and-answer session after speaking at the closing of the Promuda Lecture Series, "Perspective From The Past, Paradigms For The Future", here.
Abdullah said if a race was not progressive because of lack of knowledge, it would be despised, easily cheated and marginalised.
It was appropriate for the Malays to master knowledge because this was the most relevant approach, he said.
He said it had been proven that Malays could excel in education as Malay students were among the top scorers of public examinations.
"This means that the brains of Malays are not weak and can receive education and knowledge well. They study hard," he said.
Asked about Malaysia's economic challenges in the years ahead, Abdullah said the greatest challenge would be on how Malaysia could strengthen the domestic economy.
"What we need to do is to ensure that our domestic economy would be resilient to stand the impact of any negative development in the world economy," he said.
He said there was a need to develop competitiveness among the local traders.
On the other hand, Abdullah said as the Malaysian economy was an open economy, it had a certain degree of dependency on other countries to export its products.
"We like to continue with the trading arrangement that we have with so many countries," he said.