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GDP of 6.2%? It doesn’t show on the ground, says academic

 | November 22, 2017

Agreeing that Bumiputeras are suffering, USM professor says politicians are often unaware of what is happening on the ground, and that sometimes they just gloss over situations.


PETALING JAYA: Perkasa is right in saying the majority of those living below the poverty line are Bumiputeras, an academic said today.

Malaysia Mohamed Ghouse Nasuruddin, who is Emeritus professor at Universiti Sains, blamed the situation on the poor delivery of economic allocations.

He said the government had the money but was not using it properly. It should cut allocations for “unnecessary things”, such as the billions of ringgit that was alloted to the Prime Minister’s Department, and put it to better use.

Ghouse said while the government had, to some extent, attempted to help poor Bumiputeras, especially those in the rural areas, leakages and weaknesses in the delivery mechanism had left them struggling to make ends meet.

“If you go to Kelantan, Terengganu, or even to some parts of Penang, you can see countless poor people. The allocations that are supposed to be channelled to them doesn’t reach the people because of flaws in the delivery mechanism.

“And the authorities are not really concerned about this. Politicians, wherever they go, are placed in situations that are staged. Because of this, they do not really know what is actually happening on the ground,” he told FMT.

It also did not help, Ghouse said, that the powers-that-be refuse to admit to the problems that existed on the ground, preferring instead to cover up and gloss over them.

He gave Bank Negara Malaysia’s “over-emphasis” on the country’s economic growth of 6.2% in the third quarter of 2017 as an example.

He said while the central bank had painted a rosy picture of the country’s economy, the people on the ground were seeing an entirely different situation.

“The politicians need to go down to the ground and see the real conditions themselves. Because on the ground, the majority of the Bumiputeras, even those in Sabah and Sarawak, are not doing well financially.

“The Malays for example, are more agricultural. They work in the rural areas, but due to the lack of facilities, the returns are not big.”

Ghouse said most facilities were in urban areas and most development took place there, leaving the rural folk with very little to work with.

He said assistance, such as 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), were not as helpful as the government thought they were. These, he added, were insufficient for people to cope with the escalating prices of goods and the inflation rate.

“Channel the money to the much needed sectors. But we really need professionals to do proper surveys and find the best way to allocate these funds.

“We have the money, but we’re not using them for the people’s benefit.”


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