BN2008 News

Malaysia Decides 2008: On Eve of Poll, Prime Minister Badawi Seeks Renewed Mandate to Guarantee Security, Peace and Prosperity

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Badawi: 'Economic opportunity for all Malaysians'

    Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi ended Malaysia's two-week election campaign Friday evening by underscoring his commitment to creating "economic opportunity for all Malaysians" and with a message of unity and confidence in this multicultural country.

    "The choice before our country is a stark one. It is a choice between our country moving forward together to greater prosperity for all, or moving backwards to disunity, economic failure and division," he told supporters earlier in the day.

    An estimated 10 million Malaysians are expected to cast their vote on Saturday, March 8th, in the 12th General Election since the country gained independence in 1957.

    With the economy dominating much of the election campaign, Mr. Badawi has repeatedly stressed the significant achievements made since he first won the premiership in 2004.

    He has pointed to GDP growth of 6.3 percent in 2007, the creation of more than a million new jobs since 2004 that has brought national unemployment down to a negligible 3 percent, and the slashing of Malaysia's budget deficit from 5 percent in 2004 to just 3.2 percent of GDP today. He has also cited the more than doubling of central bank reserves to US$101 billion, and a  flood of investment into Malaysia, which last year rose by 69 percent to  nearly US$14 billion.

    "The international business community believes in our country, and investors as far ranging as General Electric and Richard Branson's Virgin Group, plus big investment funds from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, have appreciated our economic progress and stability," he said in a televised interview on Thursday with Al Jazeera International.

    By contrast, Mr. Badawi has warned Malaysians not to put their economy at risk and not to believe unrealistic and populist promises from the opposition to cut prices, and taxes and to offer budget-busting handouts. He has also stressed that rising prices are a chief concern because "our government has been anti-inflation from its first day in office."

    Mr. Badawi has also urged the country's diverse ethnic groups, including Indian, Chinese and Malay ethnic communities, to unite as "one nation" that can achieve "peace, prosperity and security." He has also pledged a continuing effort to tackle corruption and crime, and to continue his Government's poverty eradication successes over the next five years.

    "I know Malaysians share my vision that no-one should be left behind as our country makes progress; that the education, health, religious and cultural rights of every community should be respected and guaranteed for all," he told supporters.

ots Originaltext: BN2008 News
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Chong Sin Woon of BN2008, +6019-382-8461,

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