PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has lamented Putrajaya’s handling of the economy, saying things on the ground were so bad that it has even affected Chinese New Year celebrations.
In a short Facebook live session, Najib said that he has met many people from various backgrounds at markets, coffee shops, sundry shops and R&R stops on highways and listened to their grouses and views.
He said traders have complained that their sales have been badly affected by the slow economy.
“Try asking a person who sells festive biscuits and fruits. Some have experienced a drop in sales of 50% and some are even thinking of closing shop as they cannot sustain the costs.”
Young people, Najib said, were worried about job security, while graduates who will be completing their studies soon face a lack of opportunities.
“Heads of families told me they believed Pakatan Harapan’s assurances that the price of goods will drop and that the government will provide all sorts of aid and welfare, but the opposite has happened.
“The cost of living has increased with the implementation of the sales and services tax (SST) and increased water and electricity tariffs, as well as reduced aid for the bottom 40 (B40) and middle 40 (M40).”
He said it was “painful” to see the situation today, where the people have been asked to help the government and sacrifice for Putrajaya’s comfort and, because of this, the people do not dare to spend, nor have the ability to do so.
“I am sad that all the Barisan Nasional has built has been destroyed. Our economy is so badly affected that it cannot generate the growth we hoped for.
“Still, what is most important is family relations and our health. We hope that the coming year brings prosperity to all.”
Najib called on non-Chinese people to visit the homes of Chinese friends to strengthen the bonds of unity and to add merriment to the festivities.