Former Minister Of Finance Urges A Break From Political Narratives To Address More Pressing Matters

Source: TheEdgeMarkets

Following yesterday’s parliamentary events, Umno’s Johari Ghani urges all political parties to focus on more critical issues, primarily the economic conditions, the nation is presently facing.

The latest Fitch report forecasted that Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be stagnant this year, with a revision from the estimate growth of 4.9% to 0%.

Fitch Solutions does not think Malaysia will achieve herd immunity before the end of 2021 despite the accelerating vaccine rollouts, thereby ruling out a potential economic surge at the later part of the year.

Source: FitchSolutions

“It will be extremely difficult for the country going forward if nothing is done now to contain the damage,” Johari warned. “Unemployment is rising again, salary and household incomes are plunging, and consumption and investments are slowing down.”

He added that it will be extremely difficult for the country to move forward if nothing is done to contain the damage, indicating the rising unemployment rates, plummeting household incomes, and decreasing consumption and investments rates.

“We need to overcome this quickly,” he stated, commenting that the political uncertainty over the coming year will only aggravate matters.

“The first order of business must be for all elected representatives to reach consensus on the appointment of an interim prime minister, who must be someone who harbours no political ambitions beyond the current parliamentary term.”

He called on all political leaders and elected representatives to put the nation first and set aside party ideology and personal ambition in order to achieve a decision in the quickest possible time.

“The reality is that no political party has a majority,” the former second finance minister said. “Neither is there any coalition capable of harnessing support from enough MPs to form a government.”

Over the last few days intense negotiations have been held amongst prominent political personalities in hopes of securing all 111 seats presently required to take over the lower house.

Johari reiterated that the new administration needed to direct its efforts in four areas – the Covid-19 pandemic, the health and welfare of the nation, the management of government coffers and reviving the economy.

“Our country needs a break from its current political narrative,” he said.

“We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the last 17 months which has seen us lose every economic advantage as a result of the incompetence and instability of the outgoing PN government.”