Najib could have managed the national budgetary deficit without resorting to forming a new committee, says Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today slammed the new fiscal policy committee announced yesterday by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to better manage the country’s fiscal sustainability.
The PKR de facto leader said that the new committee would have an adverse effect on the people’s livelihood, adding that the prime minister could have easily resorted to less costly methods.
“I cautiously take note of the announcement by Najib Tun Razak of the formation of a committee that will focus on reducing the national budgetary deficit to 3% by 2015,” Anwar told a press conference at the PKR headquarters here today.
“An undertaking of that feat could have easily been achieved through a strict economic governance and transparent government procurement without the need for any new taxes or cutting of essential government expenditures with direct impact on the people’s livelihood,” he said.
Najib had said yesterday that the committee would be chaired by himself, along with the Cabinet ministers and head of departments.
“This is to underline the seriousness in terms of managing our fiscal sustainability and economy,” he told reporters at the Budget 2014 consultation ceremony in Putrajaya.
But Anwar urged Najib and the BN government to stop “dragging the public to cover its economic incompetence and policy shortfalls”.
“The fact that his administration struggles to reduce car prices as promised in his manifesto exemplified the incompetence and hopelessness of his administration.
“In fact, much of the financial burden that adds up to the ballooning national budgetary deficit also originates from his unsound vote-buying schemes that cost the public billions of ringgit in the last general election,” Anwar claimed.
Anwar today also described Najib as someone who “governed behind a veil of secrecy”, citing the government’s handling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations as an example.
“There is a growing concern over his cabinet’s conduct on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations precisely because of his administration’s refusal to be transparent and inclusive during the negotiations.”
The TPPA is a free trade agreement carried out between Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Chile, the US and Canada. It has yet to be signed.
The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) has slammed the “secret” ongoing TPPA negotiations for allegedly lacking meaningful engagement and consultation with relevant parties.
Anwar to table crime-fighting committee of Pakatan, BN representatives.
The PKR de facto leader also offered Pakatan’s assistance to the police force to work together in enhancing the public’s perception of the police.
He described the men in blue as conducting “real and honest work”, adding that there was a “serious credibility issue” engulfing the police force.
“I will table to the Pakatan Rakyat leadership that a committee made up of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional representatives is formed immediately to work with the IGP and his officers to address the concerns over safety,” said Anwar.