KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Bernama) — The issue of the state of the economy, was among matters discussed between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and United States President Barack Obama, during a 20-minute telephone conversation tonight.
Najib said he received the call from Obama at 9.10pm and various matters were discussed. Najib disclosed this to Bumiputera entrepreneurs attending the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia dinner here tonight.
He said that Obama praised Malaysia’s uniqueness and advantages.
“You should be proud of Malaysia because you are modern, progressive Muslim country, able to manage a multiethnic and multi-religious society,” said Obama, according to Najib.
Najib said the relationship such as that between Malaysia and the United States was important as the country is now moving into a new era in the world economy which did not just involve the globalisation process but also “the network economy”.
“When we are faced with the challenge of the network economy, we need then to strengthen our position by networking with others. When we talk about networking at the global level, Malaysia has an uniqueness and advantages,” he said.
This uniqueness and advantages, represent Malaysia’s strength, as we can claim to be one of those countries which are a gateway to other centres,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia was the gateway to China, India, Asean countries and also other Islamic nations. On China, Najib said it was not just the local Chinese who had
economic opportunities, but also Bumiputera entrepreneurs, as that country had a positive sentiment towards Malaysia.
He said during his recent visit to China, he was well received and the signing of many memorandum of understanding (MoU), had opened up opportuntiies for Malaysian entrepreneurs.
He said the obvious opportunity was halal products as there are many Chinese who are Muslims.
On the position of Bumiputera entrepreneurs, Najib said they must think about a new business model, in line with the new economic model.
He said they must identify the “the business of tomorrow” and noted that many Bumiputera businesses today, are “the business of today and yesterday”.
He said the government would help the best Bumiputera companies based on meritocracy, compared to before, where assistance was given on an equal basis.