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Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Brotherly proof of premier nepotism'


Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's younger brother Nazir has proven that nepotism was still rife in Putrajaya, according to PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar.

Taking a swipe at Nazir's “miscalculated” comments on the plunge in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), he said: “I must congratulate him for being the new spokesman for Najib’s Cabinet.”

“Nazir’s statement is a reminder to Malaysians that nepotism is still rife in Putrajaya,” he added.

Mahfuz claimed that the CIMB group chief's comments was a clear reminder to Malaysians that the culture of nepotism as practiced in the administrations of former premiers Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was still alive.

“During the Mahathir and Abdullah eras we had their children’s involvement. Perhaps we can describe the current administration as an administration by siblings,” he said.

Describing the Barisan Nasional leadership as mirroring “ostriches who buried their heads”, Mahfuz said it was only time “before the people kicked them out.”

However, Mahfuz did credit Nazir for indicating that the government was painfully aware of the drop in FDI.

“Considering there are no more comments from any of the Cabinet members or for that matter from Najib, at least Nazir’ statement shows that the Najib administration is admitting to the drop.

“It is now clear that the figures are not contorted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Uuctad). They (the government) are not giving out any more ridiculous reasons to justify the plunge in FDI,” he said.

Earlier this week, Bernama reported Nazir as saying that the FDI plunge was not necessarily negative.

The top banker had reportedly said that it was “not necessarily a bad thing” to have lower net investment flow for the country as what was important was the quality of investments.

Nazir had instead urged that the 2009 plunge in Malaysia’s FDI be studied carefully before jumping to conclusions.

'The fact is Malaysia is unappealing'

PAS' Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad, however, felt otherwise, saying that it did not negate the fact that Malaysia was no more a choice with the investors.

“While I understand his (Nazir's) meaning of ‘quality investment’ and ‘timing’, his comment, however, is not able to dispute the fact that Malaysia is no longer the investment hub under the radar of investors both foreign and local," he said.

He suggested that Nazir's "misplaced" comments could just be a defence of his brother, Najib.

Dzulkefly said the UN figures were clear and self explanatory.

Lack of interest among foreign investors had contributed to a decline in FDI from US$2.56 billion in 2004 and US$1.09 billion (2005), to a net negative US$0.02 billion (2006), negative US$2.7 billion (2007) and negative US$7.67 billion in 2008.

This is further compounded by the fact that Malaysia’s outflow of funds was also extremely high.

Dzulkefly said this imbalance would have major consequences to the economy.

“First, it will affect the growth. Due to insufficient funds to generate economic activities and investments in various sectors such as manufacturing and services industry, the 6% targeted growth cannot not be achieved.

“When global demand drops, the situation will get worse as it will affect the export factor in our GDP,” he said on the sidelines of the recent Selangor Budget 2011 Dialogue.

He warned that Malaysia cannot afford to spend anymore as it is currently burdened with high budget deficits amounting to some 52 percent of its GDP.

courtesy of FMT

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