August 1, 2013
MY COMMENT: What does it take for Najib as Finance Minister to realise that he has mismanaged our Treasury. The problem is that our Finance Minister was born with a silver spoon and cannot connect with ordinary Malaysia who will suffer the most when the country is in financial crisis. Maybe he will wake up when a serious fiscal crisis hits our country. Even then I am not sure since he does not know hardship as everything was handed to down to him on a platter.
Our civil servants, especially those in the Ministry of Finance, will only react when the government is unable to pay their salaries and other perks. Otherwise, they wont care. Truth be told. We cannot continue to spend and spend to the nth power as if there is no tomorrow. Payback time is not far and we will have the bear the burden of lax financial management soon enough.
Najib is the worst Finance Minister since Independence. He has no clue about being prudent and responsible with our money. Under his watch over the Ministry of Finance, the Malaysian ringgit has hit a 15-year low against the Singapore dollar and weakened noticeably against the greenback. When Tun Tan Siew Sin was Minister of Finance and Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali was Bank Negara Governor, the two currencies were at par with each other. –Din Merican
It’s Time for Ostrich Najib to get real: Pay Attention to Our Finances
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been accused of pretending that his administration had maintained a “healthy debt-GDP ratio” in view of the latest Fitch Rating’s downgrade of Malaysia’s economic outlook from “stable” to “negative”.
In a press release today, PKR de facto leader and Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that facts show that the Federal government’s guaranteed debt under the Najib-administration had rose to nearly RM150 billion in 2012 from RM96.9 billion in 2010, which would definitely hurt the economy.
“How much longer does Najib want to be the proverbial ostrich in the sand by pretending that his administration’s mismanagement of public finances has no significant impact on the economic outlook?
“No amount of creative accounting practices can change our financial red to black,” said Anwar. Fitch Ratings had noted that federal government debt had rose to 53.3 percent of GDP by end-2012, up from 51.6 percent a year before and 39.8 percent by end-2008.
A 19 percent rise in spending on civil servant wages due to the general election had also contributed to the widening budget deficit, it noted.
Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat had consistently maintained that the federal government does not practice financial prudence, accountability and transparency, to which the Najib Administration responded by calling critics traitors.
“Instead of taking cognisance of the legitimate concerns and rectifying the situation, Najib has plunged the country into greater fiscal deficit, eating into our current account surplus and ignoring the clear signs of structural weaknesses,” he said.
Instead, he said the Najib administration had been sweeping “financial dirt” under the “off-balance sheet carpet”. Unless urgent remedial action is taken, Anwar warned that the culture of reckless spending, opaque government procurement and privatisation processes will remains the hallmark of Najib Abdul Razak’s “transformation” government.
“Let the government be warned that this cannot be allowed to continue. As the management of the nation’s public finances is not a game of one-upmanship. We urge Najib to stop grandstanding and immediately step up to the plate to put the nation’s and the people’s interest above self and partisan interests,” he said.