World Capital Markets Symposium

Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Razak bin Tun Abdul Razak

Prime Minister of Malaysia

Najib Razak was born into politics. Both his father and uncle were Prime Ministers. When his father died he became the youngest MP in Malaysia’s history in 1976, and has since held many major ministerial portfolios. When he became Prime Minister in April 2009, critics called him the ultimate insider. But he has taken many by surprise, implementing the most far-reaching political and economic reforms since Malaysia’s independence.

The Prime Minister has, for example: repealed the colonial-era Internal Security Act, which permitted indefinite detention without trial; ended Malaysia’s 60-year State of Emergency; introduced measures to increase media freedom, such as scrapping restrictions on newspaper publishing licenses; reformed the Universities and University Colleges Act to allow undergraduates to participate in political activities; created the Peaceful Assembly Act, for the first time enshrining in law the right to peaceful protest; announced the repeal of the Sedition Act to strengthen freedom of speech; repealed the Banishment Act; repealed the Restricted Residences Act; and implemented various electoral reforms.

The Prime Minister has also introduced the ‘1Malaysia’ concept, stressing the importance of national unity regardless of race or religious belief. 1Malaysia has also delivered improvements on the ground. For example, more than 1.5 million people have passed through new 1Malaysia health clinics, where anyone can receive treatment for any condition for about 30 cents.

In terms of foreign policy, the Prime Minister has called for a new global Movement of the Moderates to combat extremism, attracting support from US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, among others. In 2011, Najib Razak became the first Muslim head of government to unequivocally condemn suicide bombing and label it as un-Islamic. He has also contributed to the coalition effort in Afghanistan by sending in female Muslim doctors.

The Prime Minister has implemented the most far-reaching political and economic reforms since Malaysia’s independence. His Government Transformation Programme has fundamentally changed the provision of government services – improving education, widening access to healthcare, developing rural infrastructure, expanding public transport, reducing poverty, cutting crime and corruption and bringing down the cost of living. His Economic Transformation Programme has significantly liberalised the economy – creating more than 300,000 jobs, raising living standards, encouraging foreign investment and turning Malaysia into one of Asia’s most dynamic and successful economies. In May 2013 Najib Razak returned to office, winning Malaysia’s 13th general election, where he stressed the importance of national unity and working for the betterment of all Malaysians.