Friday, May 16, 2003

Support country’s leaders and policies,
PM tells youths


KUALA LUMPUR: The youth of the country should be bold and move forward when the Government has made a decision, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the youth should have more confidence in the leadership of the country.
YOUTHFUL ZEAL: Members of various youth organisations waving flags at the National Youth Day rally at the Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil Thursday. Some 20,000 people gathered at the indoor stadium, where they pledged to enhance efforts by the country's leaders to promote national development and integration.
“They should not spend too much time indulging in debate, arguments and polemics because nothing worthwhile can be achieved if we spend too much time disagreeing with each other,” he said at the National Youth Day gathering at the Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said he agreed that sometimes government policies could be better and should be changed.
“Maybe, there are other policies which are more appropriate but we should not waste our time arguing about it until we forget its aim and purpose,” he added.
He said the youth would be better off working hard to ensure the success of the policies already decided upon. “That is how we develop a country. If we allow ourselves to be bogged down (by disagreements), we will not be able to develop the country into what it is now,” he said.
Citing national car manufacturer Proton as an example, Dr Mahathir said some people had disputed the viability of the project when it was first mooted.
“They doubted if the project was suitable for a developing country with little technological know-how and money.
“If we had allowed ourselves to be affected, today, we would not have Proton,” he added. He said there were also doubters when the idea to develop Langkawi into a tourist resort was mooted.
“Today, Langkawi is recognised as a world-class resort similar to Bali,” he added.
Dr Mahathir, who is retiring in October, said today’s youths would eventually take over and manage the country.
In the meantime, he said, they should prepare themselves with the right attitude to continue and carry out the policies established by the current generation.
“The grown-ups will not be with us for long. Sooner or later, they will have to go and leave the country to the younger generation.
“When you (today’s youths) take over the country, you will also do your best for future generations,” he added.
Dr Mahathir also urged the country’s youth to mix with people from other races, saying that knowing the culture and religion of other races would help promote racial unity.