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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak mingles with Chinese community during the Chinese New Year celebration in Langkawi. Pic by SHAHRIZAL MD NOOR

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is set to make an announcement tomorrow on a major allocation to improve the island's water supply system.

He said the project is part of several development projects in the pipeline for Langkawi, to realise the island's vast potential as an international tourism destination.

He assured the people of Langkawi that Barisan Nasional (BN) is committed to improve the public infrastructure for the benefit of the people and visitors to the island.

"I always emphasise that Langkawi has the vast potential of becoming an international tourism destination and we wish to lure more up market tourists with high purchasing power.

"That is why we have launched the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint 2.0 because we want bring the island to the next level of development so that all business operators and people in this island can benefit from the tourism sector here," Najib said in his speech at a dinner with representatives of 22 non-governmental organisations from the Chinese community in Langkawi, in conjunction with the Chinese New Year, at Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre today.

Present were Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, state executive councillors, Langkawi member of parliament Datuk Ir Nawawi Ahmad and Kuah assemblyman Nor Saidi Nayan.

Najib said he has proven this commitment by approving an allocation to upgrade the Langkawi International Airport, launching more direct flights from international destinations to the island and luring world class hotel chains to Langkawi.

Apart from attracting high end tourists to Langkawi, Najib said his administration would also ensure continuation of basic infrastructure projects that would benefit of the people in the island.

"For this, I have approved a major allocation to resolve water supply issue in Langkawi, for the long term, which I will announce tomorrow.

"Previously, I have launched two affordable housing projects for Langkawi and we will continue to work hard to address the demand for affordable housing in the island.

"Although I am not from Kedah, I promise that I will always look after the needs of the people in Langkawi and in Kedah at large," he said to a thunderous applause from the crowd.

To ensure the continuity of these ongoing development initiatives, Najib said the people of Langkawi should make the right decision by retaining the current government.

He stressed that it is paramount for the Langkawi people to support the strongest party in the country in the next general election as it stands the highest chance of forming a government.

"The people here are faced with two options, either to chose a candidate from BN which has the backing of the strongest party in the country, or to support a former leader based on history and sentiment.

"I believe if we think rationally, our future will be brighter. (However) I must say that we are not trying to forget the contributions made by past leaders, it is just that we want to make sure there is continuity in terms of development for the island.

"It is important for the people to understand that in democratic system, the strength comes from political parties, not individual.

"Even if the person is a former prime minister, if his party is weak, he could not decide the direction of the nation," he said.

Although no names were mentioned, it was understood that Najib was referring to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is being speculated to contest in Langkawi in the 14th General Election.

At the end of his speech, Najib announced that he has agreed to appoint a representative from the Chinese community from the island to sit on the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) board.

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