Azmin ‘worst trade minister’, says Kian Ming

Former deputy international trade and industry minister Ong Kian Ming says present minister Azmin Ali has failed the economy.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former deputy international trade and industry minister Ong Kian Ming has described the present minister, Mohamed Azmin Ali, as the icon for the “worst Miti in Malaysian history”.

At a press conference at the DAP headquarters, the Bangi MP cited falls in trade numbers for April and May as among the 10 reasons for his criticisms of Azmin, who is also the senior minister for economy.

Ong said Malaysia experienced its largest trade decline in 20 years in May, when it fell by 27.8% from last year. “Even during the 2008 global financial crisis, the largest fall in monthly trade was 17.8% in August 2008.”

He cited Malaysia’s first monthly trade deficit in April this year after 269 consecutive months of trade surplus, and a 33% decline in manufacturing sales and 32% decline in industrial production index in the same month.

He said many people would attribute the fall in trade figures to the movement control order (MCO) but claimed that a number of problems experienced by the industry were because of a lack of leadership in Miti.

“For example, when Miti opened up its website to accept applications for the essential sectors to continue operations, the website crashed many times,” he said, adding this probably contributed to the fall in economic output during the early period of the MCO.

“During this time, the supply chains in Malaysia were also disrupted and vegetables in Cameron Highlands couldn’t be delivered. This was because the approvals to operate, including those for the transport sector, were not carried out by Miti in a timely manner.”

Ong also cited the premature announcement of the reopening of the economy in early May without proper preparation as the SOPs had yet to be announced.