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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Malaysia should change PMs like Japan, says Zaid


August 30, 2011

Zaid: Tongue-in-cheek tweet.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — Kita president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has suggested Malaysians try changing prime ministers, even as Malaysia faces slower growth prospects next year.

Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda was confirmed today as the country's sixth prime minister in five years after he outmanoeuvred rivals at an internal party ballot yesterday.

"Japan still an economic power. Despite changing PM every year. We should try it here," Zaid, the former de facto law minister, said in a tongue-in-cheek post on micro-blogging site Twitter.

This comes after a Merdeka Center poll released yesterday showed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's approval rating has fallen to 59 per cent after steadily sliding from a high of 72 per cent in May last year.

Najib, who came to power in 2009 with a low 34 per cent approval rating, is under pressure to reign in a ballooning budget deficit by slashing subsidies while trying to keep cost of living increases in check.

Rising inflation, which hit a two-year high of 3.5 per cent in July, was cited as the number one worry by 30.3 per cent of those polled by the Merdeka Centre earlier this month.

Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said economic concerns in general had to be addressed by the government, up from 14 per cent in December 2010.

Najib has announced that he will hit the ground weekly from Friday to Sunday after the Hari Raya break to meet the people, even as speculation mounts that he will call elections within the next few months.

The prime minister has doled out bonuses and cash to civil servants, Felda settlers and the poor while talking up investment inflows resulting from his economic reforms, in what is seen as a bid to convince fence-sitters to vote for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

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