Selangor Journal

Stop confusing citizens by manipulating economic data

I felt amused reading the statement by Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who is very confident that Malaysia will become a progressed nation by year 2020. One more time using merely the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as economic indicator.
Rahman Dahlan is still undeterred in trying to confuse the people by manipulating economic data solely to increase people’s confidence towards Umno-BN, whose image is increasingly tarnished by its cultures of wastage, bribery and bad governance.
He merely quoted the World Bank making a projection that Malaysia’s GDP will be at 4.3 percent, when in fact this figure is not enough for Malaysia to be a progressed nation or a high-income nation.
Based on atlas calculation, a high-income nation, based on World Bank’s definition, is when GDP per capita (total annual GDP divided by the number of Malaysian population) reach USD12,475 or approximately RM53,181. Whereas in 2016, Malaysia’s GDP per capita was only at RM37,104.
In this gloomy economic condition in addition to the rising unemployment and inflation, it will be more difficult for the country to achieve progressed-nation status by year 2020. One more thing is the value drop of Malaysian ringgit which affects the GDP calculation.
The extravagant and wasteful practice in Umno-BN can be seen in its fiscal policy. Every time the annual budget is tabled, the Federal Government will propose a deficit budget i.e. expenditure exceeds revenue.
Saifuddin Nasution
Although Rahman Dahlan said the deficit gap is shrinking, the fact is Malaysia has an increasing national debt that Najib Razak has had to propose for supplementary budget.
The rising cost of living, low wage growth, the widening rich-poor gap and the increasing number of welfare recipients clearly indicate that the economic data being raved about is merely rhetoric to confuse the people.
I suggest that Umno-BN stop misleading the people with economic data which are ostensibly positive indicators when in reality, people are facing difficult situations.
The Umno-BN should enact economic policies that favor the peoples’ welfare rather than the pockets of cronies, kleptocrats and tycoons whose wealth has for a long time exceed that of normal citizens.
*Saifuddin Nasution is KEADILAN Secretary-General

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