In his nostalgia, former minister Daim Zainuddin may have mistaken the more open times under the present administration of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, for when critics were silenced under the rule of former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
This, argued Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz, was why the ex-finance minister was going around claiming that Malaysia needed economic advisers who were not afraid to open their mouths and tell the truth to the powers that be and help strengthen the economy.
"Maybe Daim is a bit nostalgic about his time when he was the finance minister under the dictatorship of Mahathir.
"It is a a bit nostalgic la, kan. But it does not happen under the tenure of Najib."
Nazri said that under Najib, everyone including Daim, was free to voice their opinions.
"We are very open as you can see. We could raise any issue, there is openness which I think there was none.
"He is a bit nostalgic. Those days people were a bit afraid to speak up. We all know Mahathir was a dictator and on the same rank with Mugabe.
The Padang Rengas MP said that all were free to give their input to the government.
Indeed, Nazri added that Daim himself could help if he thoughts he had ideas that could help the government better manage the economy.
"Yes he can help if he wants to in whatever ways and means he can do. To me it is the responsibility of the government."
On the veteran economist's proposal for a new committee of key economic advisers, Nazri said it was not needed, as even during Daim's time as finance minister, such an entity was not necessary.
"It is not necessary. Even during his time when he was the finance minister, we faced economic downturn.
"There wasn't a committee set up but we resolved it on our own," said Nazri.
In any case, Nazri reiterated that there was no need for a new committee to be set up as it was already the responsibility of the government to look into solving any economic matters.
"The economic downturn is not only in Malaysia. It is a worldwide phenomena. Everybody is facing the same.
"Please allow the government to resolve this issue," he concluded.- Mkini