KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak has delivered a scathing verdict of Pakatan Harapan’s performance a year after it came to power, saying the coalition does not know where it is heading.
In an interview with FMT, he likened the government to a drifting ship.
He alleged that the parties in Pakatan Harapan (PH) had no common agenda to guide the coalition forward and said it needed an overarching vision and a strategy to realise it.
He cited his administration’s National Transformation Plan (NTP) as an example of such a strategy.
“Unless they can come up with a new, clear vision, a very definitive vision, the country will be in a state of limbo, uncertain of which direction we are moving towards.”
He said he would like to see the NTP revived if BN were to return to power. “The plan was working. The plan was delivering. How can you even doubt what we have achieved if we could attain 5.9% economic growth in 2017?”
He noted that Malaysia’s economic growth during his tenure was above those of Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.
“Our deficit was coming down at 2.8%, our national debt was coming down at 50.4% of GDP and our total debt was RM686 billion. But look at the situation today.”
Najib cited these other examples to claim that Malaysia was doing better under his regime:
Commodity prices were higher;
Foreign direct investments were “flowing in”;
The stock market reached an all-time high and witnessed the longest bull run in history;
The ringgit was stronger.
He alleged that the cost of living had gone up and blamed it on the switch from the goods and services tax to the sales and services tax.
He also said the stock market was now down, commodity prices had “plummeted” and “valuable assets” had been sold off.
He noted that economic growth figures had been revised three times.
“They said people would be better off if PH was in power. In fact, many say that life is harder.”
The Pekan MP, who has been travelling around the country, claimed that people were despondent and had nothing much to look forward to, especially in the rural areas.
“PH promised one million jobs. Where are the jobs?
“Now, they are talking about 50,000 Malaysians working in Japan doing dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs. These are the jobs people come to Malaysia to do, and not for Malaysians to go to Japan to do. It means we are equating Malaysia with countries which are exporting their people.”
Najib also hit out at PH for not honouring its promise to appoint royal commissions of inquiry into 1MDB, Felda and Tabung Haji and noted its continuation of projects it once criticised, such as Bandar Malaysia, the Tun Razak Exchange and the East Coast Rail Link.
“Those which they cannot reject they rebrand. BR1M becomes Bantuan Sara Hidup and Permata becomes Genius. The fact is that these are BN projects which greatly benefited the people.”
He said PH could no longer play the blame game or incite hatred against BN as the people would see through it.
As for BN, he said the coalition must believe it could put out a strong message to the people because they could now compare the performance of the two coalitions.
“I believe the people will come around to seeing that BN was a better government than PH,” he added.