Sunday, February 05, 2012

Najib's Poor Leadership Stalls Economic Reforms

Najib’s poor leadership stalling economic reforms, says Pakatan
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal February 02, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have blamed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s poor leadership as prime minister and Umno president as the main cause behind stalled economic reforms, saying he lacked the political will to weed out corruption and push for transparency in the awarding of lucrative government contracts.

The PR leaders were commenting on banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak who had said economic reforms are not moving as fast as was hoped due to distractions from a general election which has to be held by early next year.

While agreeing with what the CIMB group chief executive officer said about the state of the government’s economic reforms, opposition leaders charged that the impending general election should actually push Najib’s administration to expedite reforms, not stall them.
“Reforms have stalled because Najib lacked the political will to overturn the patronage and gravy train system in BN and particularly in Umno.

“Najib is fearful that the reforms will destroy the very fabric that glues Umno together, that is the opportunity for its leaders and members to secure lucrative contracts with the government and government-linked companies,” DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua told The Malaysian Insider.

Pua pointed out that despite transparency and accountability being a cornerstone of Najib’s Government Transformation Programme (GTP), lucrative procurement contracts continue to be dished out without any open tenders.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP has been leading in demanding Najib reveal the details of its direct negotiations with Kumpulan Europlus Bhd (KEuro), a company which, he said, has no experience in building the RM7 billion West Coast Expressway (WCE).

KEuro announced on Thursday that it has been awarded a 60-year concession for the RM7.07 billion WCE, which will connect Banting in south Selangor to Taiping in north Perak. The new highway will serve as an alternative to the North-South Expressway.

“I completely agree that economic reforms are completely stalled and the NEM (New Economic Model) and ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) have now become a programme of continuity and not of the purported transformation,” said Pua.

He charged that the prime minister showed failure in leadership by not expressing or acting against senior Umno ministers involved in financial scandals, citing the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) as an example.

For the full article in The Malaysian Insider, click here.
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