The new Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has made a major misstep when he merely said that the federal government did not approve of the boycott of Chinese goods and services but proceeded to defend the right to boycott.
Sometimes you can be legally correct but wrong on the economics.
Usually it is not a big deal because everyone knows that political motivations are usually irrational exuberance.
But...when you are a Minister responsible for an economic portfolio as important as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs you have to be a big picture person.
You are running the entire Malaysian economy.
You cannot be pandering to petty politicking even if it is just a fortnight since your party won by a whisker.
You have to check that tribal, petty, parochialism.
You are the Minister in the Malaysian Cabinet with a portfolio to manage Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
Malaysia holds itself out as an open economy. Malaysia measures itself by trade competitiveness. Malaysia aspires to obtain foreign direct investments.
For instance, how would the Minister reconcile his defence of racial boycotting to investors and businesses from mainland China or Taiwan?
Would he say via an interpreter, "Sorry, this boycott of Chinese goods and services apply only to Malaysian citizens of Chinese ethnicity and descent. It definitely does not apply to you people because you are from mainland China/Taiwan".
How lame is that?
Do I need to remind everyone that Cabinet Ministers hold a federal portfolio?
Do I also need to remind everyone that people cannot be fooled all the time?
You cannot have the Prime Minister himself, Husni, Mustapha, Idris Jala and Wahid running around telling all and sundry that the Economic Transformation Plan is still on foot when your fella in charge of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs cannot send the correct signals out as a Federal Minister and, he is still labouring under the misapprehension that the stupid General Elections is still on.
As I said before, GET TO WORK!