‘Sense of urgency’ needed to solve public woes raised by World Bank, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim says the World Bank findings, as well as those expressed earlier in a report by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, show many people are struggling.

PETALING JAYA: The World Bank report for 2019 shows the government needs to have a “sense of urgency” in tackling the high cost of living and creating high-paying jobs, said PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

Referring to the World Bank’s 21st Malaysia Economic Monitor report, themed “Making Ends Meet”, published earlier this month, he said Malaysia is expected to face challenging times due to the global economic slowdown.

“The government needs to stimulate the economy, create good-paying jobs and increase the social safety net for the most marginalised,” he said in a statement today.

He further urged the government to closely monitor development projects so that the funds ultimately reach their intended recipients.

Anwar said to overcome economic challenges, the government must be more focused and decisive in fulfilling the Pakatan Harapan’s 14th general election manifesto promises to uplift the poor and the marginalised.

Anwar said many of the issues raised in the World Bank report had already been addressed by Pakatan Harapan’s economic policies.

He said the government policies, if pursued vigorously and with determination, could help many Malaysians, particularly those in the vulnerable B40 low-income group.

“The scenario is more bleak for the rural poor in Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, and the rural heartland in Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.

Anwar highlighted concerns in the report over high housing prices that “severely” affected the affordability of Malaysians to own houses in various parts of the country and hugh debts borne by them.

He said these findings, as well as those expressed earlier in a report authored by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, echoed the conversations he had with Malaysian families in his own parliamentary constituency in Port Dickson and around the country.

“The people are struggling,” he added.

Due to that, he said the World Bank report’s recommendations of effective communication with the people on the progress achieved so far by the PH government is essential.

This will allow the government to build trust and ensure its policies are successful on the ground.