Malaysia is not a failed state: Najib

PM Najib Razak hit back at critics, citing how the country topped the recent Global Islamic Economy Indicator.
PM Najib Razak hit back at critics, citing how the country topped the recent Global Islamic Economy Indicator.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BANGI • Malaysia may not be a perfect nation, but it is by no means a "failed state", says Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Datuk Seri Najib told the International Wasatiyyah Seminar 2015 - titled "Islam and the Younger Generation: Challenges and Hopes" - yesterday that when reports like The Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2014-2015 recognised Malaysia as a top Muslim nation, it was wrong to label it as a failed nation.

"We have been called a failed state. Some called us a rogue nation. But is this the true image of Malaysia?" he said.

A columnist writing recently for the US-based magazine The Diplomat said that Malaysia was fast becoming a "rogue" nation and a "failed state" due to alleged corruption in the administration, despite its leaders' repeated pledge to address the problem, said The Malay Mail Online.

It added that The Diplomat column - "Going Rogue: Malaysia and the 1MDB scandal" - claimed the controversy over 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) showed how many of the country's key institutions have lost credibility as they are deemed to have been "co-opted" to help keep the Barisan Nasional coalition in power.

But Prime Minister Najib hit back yesterday: "It is quite ironic, when this 'failed state' topped the Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2014-2015, an independent study that is not influenced by our government.

"The research covers 70 Muslim countries and looks into the quality of the overall Islamic economy eco-system.

"The study says Malaysia leads by a large margin. Our Islamic economy system is also said to be the most mature, and so is our halal industry," Mr Najib said .

The Prime Minister added that even though the country is small, in aspects of Islamic finance, Malaysia is ahead of many other nations.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'Malaysia is not a failed state: Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe