Sunday, January 29, 2012

Najib Should Check His Own Reflection First

The Prime Minister appears particularly shaken by the promises made by Pakatan Rakyat to improve the livelihood of ordinary Malaysians by restructuring and renegotiating unfair contracts the BN government has signed with its cronies which has enabled the latter to make billions of ringgit in profits every year at the expense of the rakyat.

Dato' Seri Najib Razak went to the extent of accusing the moves by Pakatan Rakyat, which will include abolishing and reviewing highway tolls, as "short-term" measures which are "recipe for economic disaster".

Before making such wild and unfounded allegations, the Prime Minister should perhaps do better to first look into his own reflection in the mirror, especially in the manner which the wealth of the country has been pillaged by BN leaders and its crony businessmen.

As admitted by none other than his own Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Idris Jala, should existing economic policies continue, Malaysia will become a bankrupt nation by 2019.  How is it that a country which is overflowing with natural resources, ranging from tin to rubber, from palm oil or crude oil, and from timber to gold, can risk becoming "bankrupt" is beyond belief.  The only reason for this bankruptcy risk is none other than the 50 years of economic management by the BN government.

Malaysia's federal government debt-GDP ratio has increased to 53%, particularly in the recent years. We have accumulated RM462 billion of debt as a result of 14 consecutive years of budget deficits.

What is more alarming, Global Financial Integrity, a watchdog based in the United States revealed that Malaysia lost RM150 billion in illicit outflows in 2009, and has accumulated more than RM1 trillion since 2000.  And yet despite the expose, Dato' Seri Najib Razak has failed to address the issue beyond "setting up a committee" to look into the matter.

Instead the Prime Minister chose to criticise the policy position of Pakatan Rakyat to restructure and where possible completely abolish toll in an exercise which will only benefit ordinary Malaysians burdened with higher cost of living. A Pakatan Rakyat government will not only restructure just highway tolls, we will also restructure all existing unfair privatisation agreements such as the Independent Power Producers, water concession companies and other unfair privatisation contracts.

Najib has chosen not to implement fair policies for its tax-payers but instead to protect the astronomical profits of its corrupt leaders and politically-connected cronies.  The PLUS highway for example was built at the cost of only RM6.9 billion but it makes PLUS net profit of more than RM1.3 billion in 2011 alone.  Despite the sky-high earnings which will only increase annually due to more cars on the road and higher toll rates, the BN government has extended the concession period of the highway toll to the year 2038, or another 27 years of merciless profits at the expense of ordinary Malaysians.

It is under the "capable" economic management of BN leaders that today, we are embroiled in billions of ringgit of financial scandals in projects such as the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone, the new RM3.9 billion "low-cost" airport, the RM9 billion acquisition of naval patrol vessels or the now infamous RM330 million "cows and condos" quagmire.

The Pakatan Rakyat governments have ruled Penang, Selangor and other states for more than 3 years now. We have proven that not only can we govern despite the lack of experience, we can administer the states better than BN did over the past 50 years.  We have successfully reduced corruption and improved efficiency, resulting in record financial reserves levels, lower debts and institutionalised welfare benefits for the man-on-the-street.

We have proven that our policies do not destroy the economy but have made Selangor and Penang the top investment destination for foreign investors.

It is BN, if given the opportunity to continue ruling the country which will continue to impoverish the rakyat to enrich the cronies with vested interest via lucrative contracts and privatisation concessions.
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