PEKAN - Malaysians in general still lack strong will and fighting spirit to strive for success, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Citing Japan and South Korea as examples, Najib said despite having no natural resources, both countries were now developed nations and economically advanced due to their human capital development.
"Recently, I watched a programme showing why South Koreans were so successful.
"Their students attended school in the morning, go for extra classes in the afternoon, do revision at night and slept only after 11pm.
"Because of this commitment, they succeeded without even having a drop of oil in their soil," he said in his speech during the presentation of incentives to 615 students who excelled in UPSR and PMR examinations in the Pekan parliamentary constituency at SM Seri Pekan here.
Citing another example, Najib, who is the Pekan MP, said the success of Samsung brand today was because of its emphasis on education and human capital development.
"This is the difference between mediocre achievements and extraordinary feat," he said.
Najib said the country must go all-out to attain excellence in education to be a successful nation.
"All parties including the school management, teachers, parents and students themselves must play their roles and strive together as a team to achieve a common aim.
"Only then we would be able to attain a higher level of success to compete globally," he said.
Later when launching the Kampung Bangkong village restructuring programme here, Najib said the Government was targeting a 2 per cent reduction in orang asli children school dropout rate this year.
He said the percentage of orang asli dropouts had actually gone down from 29 per cent in 2011 to 25 per cent since last year.
"We want the number to decrease further to 23 per cent this year and by next year, our target is for it to go down to 15 per cent," he said.
To ensure the orang asli community continues to develop, Najib said the Government had allocated RM200mil (S$77 million) for their development in this year with another RM120mil for the administration of the Orang Asli Development Department.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who was also present at the event, later told reporters that although it was initially difficult, the orang asli there were now more willing to accept the facilities and economic opportunities provided by the Government.