Anwar: Malaysians Rushing to Pawnshops a Sign of Ailing Economy

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People facing pressure and desperate.

Farhan Najib/MMO

The multiple heart-breaking photographs of many Malaysians queuing up in front of pawnshops on the first day of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) yesterday is a sign of a troubled economy, observed PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a Facebook Live video today, the opposition lawmaker pointed out that a study by Boston Consulting Group have also found that the national growth on health, education, income, comfort levels over the past decade have been very slow, without much improvement or development.

“Only one month of problems and we can see not just the B40, but the M40 were also queuing up at what? Seven to eight locations where people lined up in droves in front of pawnshops. This is desperation.

“Only a month of MCO and you can see the kind of pressure facing the people. What have we learned? This means that the way we administer the country and the economy must change,” said Anwar.

He then lambasted Finance Minister Senator Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz for playing up on public sentiment with his propaganda talk using numbers and growth statistics, predicting that next year there will be strong economic growth even though the nation must tighten its belt this year.

The Port Dickson MP also unleashed his ire at an unnamed Perikatan Nasional (PN) politician for the callous statement saying that one of the reasons that Putrajaya relaxed the MCO was to allow the impoverished the opportunity to sell off their personal items in pawnshops out of desperation.

“If I want to call this person an idiot, that would be very rough. But this is the view of someone claiming to be intelligent in our country. Someone who just wants to defend the government, but has no compassion, no humanity.

“If you want to support the government, go ahead but when people are queuing up at pawnshops, that means these people are desperate. They are pawning off their valuables, which could be wedding gifts and so on.

“This means that they are desperate. Have some sympathy. Don’t tie this to the reason the MCO was relaxed,” said Anwar.