- The Education Blueprint and the Strategic Plan on Higher Education were rolled out, targeting deficiencies in the system and working towards implementing long-term improvements;
- The task force to facilitate business, or PEMUDAH, was established and is working to reduce the cost of doing business in Malaysia;
- Civil service salaries were reviewed to encourage retention of talent, and a contract scheme for top civil servants was announced to reward more closely to performance;
- The stock market reached record highs with market capitalisation breaking the RM1 trillion mark;
- International trade of goods and services also exceeded RM1 trillion;
- Real property gains tax was done away with, driving activity in the property market;
- The biggest listed plantation company in the world, Sime Darby, was created; and
- The first ever Malaysian went into space.
It was truly a tremendous year, for Malaysia, for Malay-sians.Malaysia was held to be a true example of nation-building success: multi-ethnic and peaceful; a remarkable track record in reducing poverty; extensive social mobility which produced a huge middle class; a thriving open economy. We ourselves are seen as a model with much to offer the world. Repeatedly we are asked and even urged to impart our knowledge and experience, so that more people in the developing world may know sustained peace and prosperity. This is not mere politeness or courtesy, nor boasting or beating one's own chest. Time after time, Malaysia continues to surprise and inspire those who work actively in socioeconomic development and poverty eradication. Following 9/11, this recognition was further reinforced due to Malaysia's Muslim majority. Continued in Chapter 2....