Malaysia’s Competitiveness Decline: Government Must Wake Up Immediately – Guan Eng

Malaysia’s Competitiveness Decline: Government Must Wake Up Immediately – Guan Eng
Malaysia’s Competitiveness Decline: Government Must Wake Up Immediately – Guan Eng

Press statement by DAP National President and Member of Parliament Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 15.6.2022.

Malaysia’s sharp drop to 32nd in the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) 2022 World Competitiveness Rankings (WCR), down seven places from 25th in 2021, is a stark warning of the failure of good governance on the part of of the Ismail Sabri administration. Malaysia’s declining competitiveness reinforces the need to take note of the lack of efficiency, certainty, consistency and clarity of governance to replace weaknesses, confusion and abrupt changes in important policies.

The latest competitiveness report does not bode well for the Malaysian economy, which is plagued by rising prices and high cost of living, rising corruption, severe labor shortage, weakening Ringgit, government red tape, congestion of traffic and lines of communication. At a time when the ringgit is supposed to strengthen on high oil prices and rising commodity prices, especially oil palm, the Malaysian ringgit has fallen to a record low against the US dollar and Singapore , two of the three main commercial partners of the country.

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The government should wake up from sleep by creating a Price Stabilization Fund and Buffer Reserves for essential products to reduce the rate of increase and price movement. At the same time, the abolition of food import PAs should not be followed by increased bureaucracy that delays processing time. In addition, the subsidies must be distributed immediately and not delayed like the broiler subsidy, where of the RM730 million approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry (MAFI), only RM50 million has been paid by the end of May.

The labor shortage has affected many businesses with many businesses operating below capacity. If this is not resolved immediately, economic growth will be severely affected.

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The government should stop drowning in the denial syndrome by claiming that inflation is controlled at 2.3% when this figure is due to price controls. A more accurate reflection is to look at the Producer Price Index which was at 11% in April. The Prime Minister should order his Ministers to get down to earth to get a realistic assessment by visiting the market instead of going on a trip abroad.-