Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Yes, Anwar, it’s the economy, stupid

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘When stomachs are full, noises tend to reduce.’

Anwar: To take on Umno-PAS, government must grow the economy

Kim Quek: Yes, the twin strategy of reviving the economy, and launching ideological warfare to expose the evil deeds of the opposition and to impart the truth - should be launched from day one.

But the Pakatan Harapan government has done neither. Instead, we have seen endless politicking.

Such failure is reflected in the response of the electorate in recent by-elections – from both the Malays and non-Malays.

The Malays are so furious of the heightened economic hardship they have to endure that they closed their ears to what Harapan leaders have to say, while gulping in the lies and falsehood on race and religion spewed by Umno and PAS.

The non-Malays, apart from economic hardship, are so disappointed by Harapan’s failure to carry out meaningful reforms that many just do not bother to vote.

So, what is the remedy? More bumiputera agenda as suggested by Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali or more reform-oriented policies to revive confidence and open up the economy?

Shouldn’t it be crystal-clear by now that the former is a suicidal approach while the latter is the only hope Harapan will have of reviving its fortune as well as improving the livelihood for all Malaysians?

Jeez: Yes, this is the smartest thing ever said by Harapan leaders. The third strategy is to improve the level of thinking of the hinterland Malays over the long run through the education system so that they can make better judgements and not be easily fooled by the extremists playing up race and religion.

It's an arduous task but necessary to undo the siege-and-fear mentality of the Malay masses.

Buat Apa?: "What is needed is a strong and united (Pakatan) Harapan. Its leadership must be sensitive to the problems faced by the rakyat and (fulfil) economic programmes that will help all regardless of race and religion... The country's priority is to generate economic growth. Any effort to betray such aims or consensus on policy will be strongly objected to,” said PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim.

It strikes me as a set of assertions not dissimilar to those that were regularly made in post-1957, then post-1969, then post-1981, then post-2003, then post-2009.

Here we are again - having gone full circle - so very predictable.

Sinan Belawan: Indeed, there is nothing earth-shattering in what Anwar said. Harapan is the government now and in difficult economic times, people/voters switch off what the government says as it’s seen as government propaganda.

Harapan is losing as well in the perception game. In so far as the economy is concerned, do Sabahans and Sarawakians have any hope in Harapan strengthening their economy?

Harapan can do little about the rising costs of essential goods/services and sliding oil palm prices. The weather is not helping, taps are dry... yes, the Sabah government is sending water to badly hit areas but it’s not enough.

Can Anwar show the impact of the Harapan government in hard-hit areas?

Panorama123: Forget about all the statistics, growth rate figures, export figures, trade surpluses, projections, etc.

Try to feel the real impact on the ground and the actual day-to-day pressures that the rakyat (not just the B40 but also the M40) are facing. Cost and prices of goods (essential items like local fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood) are very high and still remain high despite the January 2019 deflation figures.

SMEs (small and medium enterprises) businessmen are facing cash-flow and funding problems as collections are getting more and more difficult, with cost escalating and revenue dropping. Even the recent Q4 (quarter 4) 2018 results of large PLCs (public limited companies) have clearly confirmed the challenging economic conditions.

Stop all politicking and focus fully on the economy and the rakyat’s well-being. It is absolutely critical that the federal government and ministers must make generating economic growth as the main priority.

Since the beginning of 2019, the economy is slowing and can be clearly seen in the dwindling numbers of patrons even in “cheap” eateries. All these issues must be critically tackled before the situation deteriorates further.

Leave the investigations and corruption/1MDB/Najib and Co/Umno/PAS charges to MACC/AGC/courts, of which they must prioritise and expedite so that we can have closures soonest possible and will not distract Harapan from other important tasks at hand.

Understandably, the government cannot control other global events but at least they can mitigate the controllable factors within the country. Do not be distracted by the opposition’s ploys.

Work as a team and govern well by implementing good reforms and fulfil the promises in the Harapan’s manifesto (it’s better late than never).

Quigonbond: This message (by Anwar) is layered. The first is on the surface, which is, Malays don't care if non-Malays lead the government as long as there is prosperity.

That's a home run. That's what former US president Bill Clinton said a long time ago.

The second message is economic growth is within the purview of the economic affairs minister. Is he busy politicking, positioning himself as the Malay saviour, or is he sleeping on his job?

Anonymous #33227154: Azmin has revealed that he is only interested in the bumi agenda. No wonder, his Economic Affairs Ministry has done nothing much to improve Malaysia's economy, because Azmin wants to focus on the racist agenda.

He has done nothing to reform the GLCs (government-linked companies) and eliminate their corruption. We should dissolve the Economic Affairs Ministry and place all financial matters under the Finance Ministry.

Nes: Now it seems that Anwar is pressing all the right buttons and Azmin is doing the opposite. Yes, a few weeks is a long, long time in politics.

VP Biden: When stomachs are full, noises tend to reduce.

Whilst Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is doing a good job, he needs to loosen the purse strings to help lower the cost of living while the economy picks up.


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