Kian Ming: Ministers doing the opposite instead of helping boost economy

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Ministers who are in charge of promoting investor confidence in Malaysia are the same people who are instigating political instability, said Ong Kian Ming today.

  • Weak political leadership
  • Unclear governing narrative other than to continue to stay in power
  • No coordinated govt effort in the fight against Covid-19

The DAP lawmaker said that it was ironic that International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali was one of the instigators of the “Sheraton move”, which resulted in the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government last February.

Ong, who is Bangi MP and DAP assistant political education director, also noted that Umno politician Ahmad Maslan had recently complained that Perikatan Nasional’s slim parliamentary majority would decrease investor confidence in the country.

“But yet, he is also insisting on an early general election despite the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country,” said Ong who was former deputy international trade and industry minister in a statement.

He said the key factors in diminishing investor confidence in Malaysia were due to weak political leadership and an unstable government under PN ruling.

“The questions surrounding FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and DDI (Domestic Direct Investment) that were raised by the Eurocham Malaysia CEO is but the tip of the iceberg.

“The hastily implemented first movement-control order (MCO) in March 2020 caused Malaysia’s second-quarter 2020 GDP (gross domestic product) to plummet by 17.1%.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“The haphazard entry ban on all foreign nationals from countries with more than 50,000 cases and the current uncertainties over what MCO 2.0 will entail are all examples of the lack of direction and consistency in policymaking under the PN government.”

He was referring to European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham) chief executive Sven Schneider’s criticism of Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz’s remarks about Malaysia being a “viable investment destination”.

Ong said that during his post as the deputy minister of MITI from July 2018 to February 2020, the foreign chambers of commerce have always raised concerns to the government.

‘“But seldom will these issues be escalated into the public realm.

“Companies which have already invested in Malaysia are the best spokespersons to potential investors to the country.

“If these companies do not have confidence in the current investment and policy climate, it is likely that potential investors will also be discouraged from realising their investments in Malaysia in the future.”

The PN government has failed to encourage a more competitive economic landscape with unclear governing narrative other than to continue to stay in power, Ong said.

“The effects of this weak political leadership can be felt among the business community. There does not seem to be a coordinated government effort in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Ong gave a few examples, such as how Minister of Health Adham Baba seems to have fully delegated the Covid-19 response to the director-general of the ministry.

He added that the Human Resources Minister M Saravanan does not seem to be able to come up with a coherent testing policy among the foreign workers in the various sectors of the economy.]

And the Ministry of Education has adopted a one-size-fits-all education policy by closing schools even in green zones with very few Covid-19 cases. – TMI