Voting Pakatan in will spell doom for businesses as its populist measures will bankrupt the country, says the prime minister.
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told investors today his ruling coalition remains the safest bet for a business-friendly environment and warned against backing the opposition’s detrimental populist policies.
His statement came amid concerns of poor growth as the government revealed a 25% drop in foreign direct investments (FDIs) yesterday although the Najib administration maintained this will not derail its growth projections.
Speaking at an investment programme here, the prime minister said times may be rough but now is not the time to gamble the country’s future by putting an economically flamboyant opposition in power.
Calling them populist, Najib criticised Pakatan Rakyat’s welfare-driven proposals, saying it is far-fetched and claiming the bloc will backtrack on its economic pledges if it comes into power.
“It doesn’t take an economist to see that these promises are far-fetched,” he said in reply to a question during a question-and-answer session at the Invest Malaysia conference here.
As he is expected to call for national polls soon, Najib has gone on an all-out campaign to deface Pakatan’s alternative policies as impractical and mere rhetoric aimed at baiting voters.
Pakatan is now aiming to ride on the prevalent public anger over higher cost of living by proposing higher subsidies on oil, education and cancelling student loans.
The government said these policies cannot be implemented without widening the tax base, an idea rejected by Pakatan.
It also said they are impractical amid a record-high fiscal deficit although the opposition claimed cost-offset can be done by plugging “leakages”.
Najib in his keynote address said today his government will ensure the debt ceiling remains at 55% of gross domestic product while urging investors to continue backing the ruling coalition for business to thrive.
“We have clarity of vision, a credible programme and roadmap to be a fully developed high-income nation. But all that we have in mind is predicated on a strong mandate from the people.”
‘Nation’s debt won’t exceed 55% of GDP’