Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nazir Razak: Govt must show economic leadership

Okay, now it's no longer a case of some nondescript blogger making the call. Nazir Razak, the group chief executive of CIMB and younger brother of the First Minister of Finance, has sent a strong message to the government for the need of economic leadership beyond the fiscal stimulus and monetary measures announced so far. 

As reported in the Edge Daily:

He suggested five key strategies, including the review of the New Economic Policy (NEP), to help position Malaysia amidst the global economic slowdown which not only posed a major challenge for the country but also presented tremendous opportunities.

“The Malaysian government must show economic leadership beyond just orthodox fiscal stimulus and monetary measures, as major global economic dislocations and enforced reconstruction present not only severe challenges but also tremendous opportunities,” he told the press after the company's extraordinary general meeting here today.

Nazir said that while fiscal and monetary stimulus would provide a temporary boost to the economy, we need strategic and proactive leadership to advance Malaysia’s relative economic position in the new world order that will emerge from this crisis.

"In that context, when I talk about strategic leadership, the government should look at more than just signing a big cheque and reducing interest rates. They need to take the lead in terms of key strategic moves in this environment so that we advance Malaysia’s economic position," he said.

Apart from a review of the NEP, the other strategies he proposed included attracting talent, leveraging on the Middle East, China and India and encouraging cooperation between the academia, business and civil service.

As more established Malaysian personalities join in the public call, made initially by bloggers, for stronger economic leadership, the Federal Government and UMNO-BN cannot continue to maintain a business-as-usual attitude which can easily be misinterpreted as being ignorant or, in denial mode.

  • Change the economic strategy now; or
  • Change the Ministers in charge of the economy; or
  • Change both.

1 comment:

Mat Cendana said...

Obama was reported today to be pessimistic and even fearful of what the economy will be in the near future.

The fact that our leaders are unperturbed by this, and are a lot more concerned about "Perak" and "Prime Minister-ship and Umno elections in March" show one of two things:

1) They have done their homework, have all the facts and figures, done all the analyses and "what-of's" ... They are deeply convinced thare's nothing to lose sleep over and are exuding just that with their demeanour

2) They are of the `otak when it comes to economics and financial matters: Don't know much and are of the `ignorance is bliss' and `What, me worry?' Alfred Neuman school of thought and philosophy.

Any they have a ready scapegoat to blame when the economy goes down -They are going to blame the US and Jews of Wall Street and financial markets for their part in bringing the financial turmoil... explicitly saying "It's not MY fault, definitely... What to do lah; THOSE PEOPLE, Chih!"