PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Najib Razak said claims that Malaysia will be bankrupt and had become a failed state were only political attacks which were not supported by facts or verified.
In fending off these claims, Najib who is also finance minister, said the claims made by a small group of people were politically motivated.
He said the people had to be smarter by analysing the facts and statements made by parties without vested interests such as the ratings agencies, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
“This is what we must explain to the people, that they cannot believe what is not supported by statements and facts, and more importantly, the statements and facts must come from people without vested interests.
“Their comments, analyses are actually more accurate than what is claimed by those with political motives,” he said in a special interview held in conjunction with the 2016 Umno General Assembly.
Najib who had just returned from attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting, said he met with representatives of ratings agencies like Moody’s and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde in Lima, Peru.
“If we are heading towards a bankrupt economy, surely ratings agencies like Moody’s and their representatives there would tell me if they saw the situation as heading towards disaster if we do not do anything.
“Lagarde (also) did not say that we are in a crisis state,” he added.
In the informal dialogue between Apec leaders with Lagarde in Peru last week, IMF supported steps taken concerning the Malaysian currency, and said the movement of the ringgit was beyond control.
Lagarde supported Malaysia’s floating of the ringgit because it was the best line of defence as what was happening to the ringgit was beyond control.
Najib also shared his conversation with American President-elect Donald J. Trump yesterday (Nov 27), who described Malaysia as having a good economy following the national economic growth of 4.5% in the third quarter of this year.
Asked if the uncertain economic performance next year and later would have a major effect on the people and influence their political sentiments, Najib said what was happening to the global economy was beyond control.
On the other hand, the government had done the best for the people to reduce the effect of the uncertain global economy, he said.
“I believe the people will understand that what we have done today is the best for the people, and we are the ones who can fulfil their hopes compared to the current alternatives,” said the prime minister.
Based on that, he said BN had won elections during economic slowdown periods and won big in the Sarawak state election even though there were forecasts by certain parties that it would lose following the implementation of the goods and services tax.
He added that BN also won big in the Sungai Besar by-election in Selangor and Kuala Kangsar in Perak.
Najib added that government subsidies were also retained, including for health and education to lighten the cost of living for the people.