Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's the economy that matters most to Malaysians

A Merdeka Centre survey carried out between December 2008 and early January reveals that most Malaysian voters were concerned over economic related issues comprising:
  • 22% who cited “unfavorable economic conditions”;
  • 17% citing “rising cost of living”; and
  • 4% who cited “unemployment”, respectively, as the most important issue or problem in the country today.
These concerns were followed by17% who cited ethnic related worries such as “racial inequality” (9%), “worsening ethnic relations” (6%) and “lack of unity among Malaysians” (2%).

Governance related concerns were the third most quoted response with 9% citing “corruption” and 1% citing ineffective/unconcerned government”.

WANTED: Politicians who can manage the economy
One clear inference from the survey is that any political leader who can demonstrate leadership mettle on the management of Malaysia's economic challenges is likely to be the most popular Malaysian leader.

Just to be even clearer, by "leadership mettle" I mean the ability to understand the economic challenges and the ability to produce policies and strategies to deal with the challenges in a manner that will enable the Malaysian economy to recover quickly.

Politicians who are content just to take potshots on economic policies without offering solutions do not qualify.

Politicians who are somnambulistic in managing the economy should be tucked into bed for long-term stasis.

At the moment, the ONLY Malaysian politician that seems to meet the criteria of having economic management "leadership mettle" is Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

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