EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION: Najib tells youths to learn from other countries going through abrupt reforms
SHAH ALAM: PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday urged youths not to be easily swayed by those who demand immediate reform through improper means.
He said some quarters were trying to influence youths to demand abrupt reform from the government but they did not explain the real agenda behind that idealism.
Najib said the government understood that youths wanted change to happen faster and were impatient to see the fruits of reforms that it was implementing.
But they must learn from what happened to other countries whose change came through revolution.
"Indeed reform can happen based on two elements -- first, in the form of revolution or abrupt change, while the second one is change through evolution.
"Based on the history of mankind and civilisation, change in the form of evolution is more effective than revolution," he said, citing what happened in Egypt.
Since Egyptian youths took to Cairo's Tahrir Square in January last year to demand basic rights and freedom, the country was still struggling for peace amidst a crippled economy.
"This is because they cannot handle change in a systematic manner like Malaysia, where reform and leadership transition takes place smoothly," he said at the launch of the Najib Razak Club (KNR) 4B Youth movement evolution gathering at i-City here yesterday.
Referring to groups who took to the streets to demand free and fair elections, Najib pointed out that the ends did not justify the means.
"In Islam, the means are also important, not just the goal. If they want free and fair elections, we do, too. We want to win because the people support us and not through fraud. There is no point rioting on the streets and attacking the police.
Najib, while thanking the 4B youths for setting up the club, advised them not to support him because of his popularity, but because they believed that the Barisan Nasional government could give them a brighter future.
"This is what I want, confidence in leaders rather than placing them on a pedestal thinking that they can do no wrong."
About 12,000 4B youths attended the gathering yesterday.
In Kuala Lumpur later, Najib encouraged all his ministers to explore social media such as Twitter and Facebook as a platform to communicate with the youth.
In his speech at the launch of "TwtUpKami", a gathering of the Twitter community, Najib said it was important for leaders to communicate through a medium popular with the younger generation.
Najib also demonstrated some cyberspace lingo he learnt online.
"Since joining Twitter, I have learnt several words such as 'LOL' (laugh out loud), 'OMG' (oh my god) and 'FYI' (for your information)," he said to the amusement of the crowd.
"The government will continue to formulate policies that will benefit the youth and provide them with opportunities to play an instrumental role in the development of this nation," he said to roars of approval from the crowd.
Earlier Najib answered several questions posted to him via Twitter on the daily challenges he faced as prime minister and the team he was rooting for in Euro 2012.
"I exercise regularly and lead a healthy lifestyle to help me cope with my hectic schedule, as for the team I support well I have always supported England, but I'm not sure they would win. I think Spain has a better chance."
He then visited the exhibition booths and mingled with some 3000 youths who attended the event.