People unhappy with govt, Budget 2020 must address economic woes, says MCA

The MCA says people are suffering as the economy is going downwards and because of the political instability and directionless new government. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA is calling for “sincere and honest” discussions about the state of the economy and the government’s shortcomings ahead of the tabling of Budget 2020, and wants a political ceasefire.

“The people are suffering as the economy is going downwards and because of the political instability and directionless new government,” said MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker. “The budget is the right time to put things up for discussion.

“We’re not here to criticise for the sake of criticising. This is a time to accept political liabilities and acknowledge the weaknesses of the current government as every Malaysian and sector of society is affected.”

Speaking to FMT on the sidelines of a Budget 2020 roundtable dialogue in Setapak here today, Ti said the people were concerned because their livelihoods were directly affected.

“Not only that, but the value of the ringgit is going down and job opportunities have been affected. The economy and share market are also going southwards so it’s not very encouraging.”

But due to the lack of political stability, politicians, especially ministers, were posturing, he claimed. “Those who have power are following political dictates instead of doing what is right for the country and economy.”

Ti, who is also chairman of the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap), said this was why think tanks like Insap were pushing for bipartisan dialogues on what was needed in Budget 2020.

Ti Lian Ker.

“We cannot continue to be in denial that the government, despite their good intentions when they took over power, are screwing things up and not doing the right things. And they can’t be in denial that this is a liability for them.

“That’s why we are bringing in people who are nonpartisan and from academia to come up with sincere and honest inputs on what needs to be done.”

Ti’s think tank today co-organised with Bait Al Amanah the Bipartisan Budget 2020 Roundtable Talks at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, where stakeholders convened to discuss what was needed in next year’s budget.

Budget 2020 will be tabled on Oct 11 once the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes.

Ti, who is also a senator, said despite all the allegations thrown at the previous administration, the people were able to get by. He said the currency, for instance, was stronger than it is now.

“If you continue to blame Barisan Nasional (BN), ultimately, the people will be repulsed,” he said. “Yes, initially, there was a lot of anger with 1MDB but this is not something you can use anymore to cover up your weaknesses.”

As one example of a “weakness”, Ti said the government was wasting money by rebranding old policies initiated under BN despite carrying out the same functions as before after that.

He also questioned the economic value and financial burden of doing this so the programmes would not be associated with BN.

“Instead of using the budget as a political tool or game, we should be thinking of the rakyat,” he said. “So let’s try and salvage the current situation, to remedy the wrongs and to set back the pace of actual, comprehensive, objective, solution-seeking discussions.”

He added that time will come when the people will revolt against PH and it would not be a good thing for them.

“The people wanted to change thinking a change of government would be better,” he said. “Now many don’t want to acknowledge that they made a mistake in choosing the wrong government but it’s true.”