Quit politicking and face the economic crisis, says Tok Mat

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan says the coronavirus outbreak will be the catalyst for an unprecedented economic downturn.

PETALING JAYA: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan has called for a stop to politicking, saying a “radical” plan is needed to address economic issues.

Mohamad said the novel coronavirus will have a huge impact globally, and the outbreak, which has resulted in 18 cases in Malaysia so far, will be the catalyst for an unprecedented economic downturn.

“With all the politicking in Malaysia lately, it seems we have forgotten the country is faced with several critical challenges,” he said on his Facebook page today.

“Malaysia is facing two big crises. The first is that we do not have an economic plan that is ‘crisis proof’, and the second is that we do not have an economic team that is capable of stimulating the economy.

“Malaysia needs a radical plan to respond to our current economic environment,” he said.

Mohamad said economic growth is slow, especially in sectors such as tourism and services.

Predicting that the country’s trade spat with India will continue, he is confident Pakistan will not be able to serve as a substitute in terms of palm oil imports.

India recently imposed restrictions on refined palm oil imports and have reportedly asked traders to stop buying from Malaysia in a move believed to be in retaliation for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of a new citizenship law and New Delhi’s policy on Kashmir.

During a visit to Kuala Lumpur last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to buy more palm oil from Malaysia to compensate for its loss in the Indian market.

Local economists interviewed by FMT have, however, voiced doubt about Khan’s pledge, citing Pakistan’s weak internal demand and poor financial situation.

While Budget 2020 failed to account for the low crude oil prices globally, Mohamad noted that foreign investors are wary about investing in Malaysia because of the lack of political stability in the medium and long term.

He also said the government’s Shared Prosperity Policy Vision 2030 (SPV) has yet to be implemented in any practical matter to boost development.