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Najib: Anwar not a competent economic manager

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 29: The opposition will bring destruction to the national economy for its leaders are fond of making grandiose promises, said Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The prime minister said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not a competent economic manager due to his failure to solve the Asian financial crisis which hit Malaysia in 1997-1998 when he was the finance minister.

He said Anwar had adopted the virtual policy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led his close friend by cutting development expenditure and raising interest rates when the market confidence was declining, and this had caused misery to the people, especially the business community.

“This person deserved to be called political chameleon. When he speaks in the United States and to other nations, his tone is different, when he speaks to the Malays and Muslims, the story is different.

“When we were together in Umno, he was different, now as the opposition de-facto leader, his stand and behaviour has changed,” Najib said in his presidential address at the 66th Umno general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

“He speaks with a fork tongue. Clearly, no one can guess his real character for he openly supports efforts to ensure the security of Israel at the time the world is condemning the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocity in Gaza. But when the government passed a motion denouncing Israel in Parliament, he lent his support… what a surprise,” the prime minister said.

He also questioned the Orange Book’s promises involving guaranteeing an average monthly household income of RM4,000, scrapping tolls and PTPTN debt, paying a special allowance of RM500 a month to teachers, and raising petroleum royalties of up to 20 percent to the states involved.

“How can all that be done for they can destroy the economy of the country.

If implemented, in the first year the government’s budget deficit would balloon by nearly 30 per cent, and secondly, by 2015, the ratio of external debt to GDP will soar to 140 per cent,” he said.

He said in the third year, Malaysia could plunge into turmoil and suffer the loss of economic sovereignty like Greece for the management of the national economy would shift into the hands of international institutions.

The quality and the inability of the opposition’s economic plan is not surprising because according to Najib, during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-1998, the then finance minister was not a competent economic manager.

The prime minister also lashed out at the PAS leadership for uttering a prayer calling for the destruction of Umno, their brothers and sisters in Islam.

Najib said on the other hand, Umno was not willing to split Muslims, never berated or insulted their brothers and sisters in Islam, and strongly abhorred those who support liberalism or pluralism.

He said the “Tuan Guru” message that labeled Umno members as infidels once had not only caused disunity, but also planted the seeds of hatred among Muslims, and consequently became the root cause of in the Memali tragedy, the Lubok Merbau incident, the two-imam issue, divorces, hostility in families, and forbidding PAS members from eating animals slaughtered by Umno members.

On PKR and DAP style of democracy, the prime minister said the PKR de-facto leader was not chosen, instead was appointed while his wife became party president and his eldest daughter, a vice-president.

Najib said the DAP style of democracy was flawed and cited how the senatorship of Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim was not renewed after the former vice-chairman disagreed with the 3.0 Bersih street demonstration.

Pointing out the flaws in the opposition-led states, the prime minister said in Penang, the DAP failed to solve the Kampung Buah Pala’s land issue within two weeks after winning the last general election as promised and chided Chief Minister Lim Eng who was regarded as “cocky, arrogant and tokong” by the deputy chief minister 1.

In Kelantan, he said the water woes remained unsolved even after 22 years of PAS’ rule while in Selangor, the promise of free water to low-cost flat and apartment residents using bulk meter, and a monthly allowance of RM100 to single mothers, remained unfulfilled.

He also lashed out at the opposition for questioning the integrity of the Election Commission and complaining to foreign powers in an attempt to internationalise internal problems, while knowing that such action would bring disrepute to the country and insult the intelligence of the people.

“Do not become a modern Si Kitul (a back-stabber in the Malay folklore) to the extent of betraying the people and the country,” he said. – BERNAMA


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