PETALING JAYA,Jan 29: A senior Umno leader has blamed Perikatan Nasional for the 68% decline in foreign direct investment in Malaysia last year.
Johor Umno deputy head Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the problem lay mainly with economic management, as other countries in the region did not fare as badly as Malaysia because of Covid-19.
The UN development agency said in a report that foreign investment fell to a mere RM10 billion last year, a drop of 68%, while the level of investment in Southeast Asia only decreased by 31%.
In comparison, Singapore’s FDI level fell by 37% to RM235 billion, Indonesia by 24% to RM73 billion and Vietnam by 10% to RM56 billion. The Philippines bucked the trend with its FDI rising by 29% to RM26 billion.
Jazlan, a former deputy home minister, said it was clear that the ministries which are key managers of the nation’s economic direction, have failed after nearly a year in power.
“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government does not seem to be thinking outside the box when it comes to economic and financial planning for the future. We are losing investments and also potential investors.
“Obviously the quality of PN ministers is very questionable. If some of them are not up to mark, they should just quit and let more capable ones take over. We have many in Umno who can do a much better job,” he told FMT.
He said the government was inept and hiding behind the emergency, adding that this and the spiralling Covid-19 numbers are the reasons why Umno as a party must detach itself from PN to prevent Umno MPs from being punished by the voters in GE15
“The two time change in government after GE14 has failed to instil confidence in foreign investors on the political and economic future of Malaysia.”
Nur Jazlan, a chartered accountant by training, said while the manufacturing sector is struggling with investors pulling out or not wanting to come in, the plantation sector is facing a huge labour shortage.
“The availability of workers will eventually decide on the commodity prices and not mainly global demand. Despite that all the relevant ministries seem to be clueless as to how to handle these challenges.
“We are under severe pressure on all fronts but the current PN leadership appears to be clueless. And their focus seems to be on clinging on to power at any costs, even if the rakyat suffers as a result,” he said.
Nur Jazlan said if PN continued with this trend of managing the country, the nation is heading for disaster and Malaysia may end up as an abysmal failure.