The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, called on Malaysians to be prepared for a protracted slowdown due to the global economic meltdown and severe financial crisis.

“Looking ahead at the year before us, the threat of a global economic meltdown and severe financial crisis continues to hang heavy on all our minds.

“Its impact on the domestic economy is inevitable and is reflected in the anticipatory measures taken by the Malaysian government to pre-empt a deep domestic economic plunge,” he said on Saturday.

The impact on the domestic economy was inevitable and was reflected in the anticipatory measures taken by the Malaysian government to preempt a deep domestic economic plunge, he said in his address the 74th Rotary International District 330 Conference on Saturday.

“It is a sign that more hardship can be expected and Malaysians will have to be prepared should we be subject to a protracted slowdown.”

Raja Dr Nazrin opened the conference on behalf of the Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, who is also the patron of the Rotary Club of Perak.

He also hailed the existence of charitable and philanthropic organisations such as the Rotary Club which was vital as resources become scarcer and confidence levels diminish in times of hardship.

“The role of Rotarians thus cannot be over emphasised. Your presence offers an assurance to the wider community that there is a group to depend on in times of need,” he said.

He said that 25 years ago, when his father ascended the throne as Sultan of Perak, there were only four Rotary chapters in the state but the number had since grown to 14.

“This is very reassuring because, where on one hand we witness a world that is becoming increasingly materialistic and individualistic; on the other hand, we are not short of exemplary individuals and groups representing the spirit of compassion and selfless giving.

“We look forward to the Rotary club growing further so that more and more communities can come to benefit from your voluntarism and philanthropy,” he added.

BERNAMA