Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh, no, surely NOT Najib Razak!

"This is the stuff of sophisticated economic management." - The Australian, quoting former ambassador John Dauth, in a review of Malaysia's economic performance amid regional and global challenges, in particular Najib Razak's "courageous" moves to scrap petrol/diesel subsidies and introduce the GST. 

p.s. I hope the former Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia is prepared for the abuses that are surely coming his way for this glowing write-up, even if it's true ... 

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's reforms drive growth

Najib Razak
Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak. Source: AP
As critical as the bilateral relationship between the US and China is, last month’s signing of the trans-Pacific Partnership provides a timely reminder that there is more to Asia than China. When Malcolm Turnbull goes to Kuala Lumpur for the East Asia Summit he will find a dynamic member of ASEAN that has recovered strongly after financial contagion spread across the region in 1997 and 1998. As the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde has observed, thanks to its sound economic policies the Association of Southeast Asian Nations came through the crisis “strong and resilient”. Quite an achievement for relatively small, exposed economies.
Malaysia, the ASEAN chair and its third-largest economy, is arguably the best case in point. Prime Minister Najib Razak is the object of much domestic (and some international) criticism but, particularly in the TPP context, it is surely worth recalling his remarkable economic record. Since 2010, Malaysia has grown by an average 5.3 per cent a year. While growth this year is estimated to slow from 6 per cent last year to 4.7 per cent, it is still comfortably outpacing its northern neighbour Thailand, which is expected to grow by just 2.5 per cent this year. Growth has generated jobs.
Since Najib became Prime Minister, 1.8 million jobs have been created. As a result, Malaysia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3 per cent — one of the lowest in the region and half or less than that of Indonesia (6 per cent) and the Philippines (6.8 per cent).
Economic growth averaging more than 6 per cent a year since 1970 not only means that Malaysia’s gross domestic product is now some 15 times larger than 45 years ago. It has transformed the economy in which agriculture dominated, accounting for 31.8 per cent of GDP in 1970, to a manufacturing and services-based economy accounting for 76.5 per cent of GDP, with agriculture contributing only 9.2 per cent.
Growth has also seen a transformation of living standards, average household income increasing more than 20-fold. Malaysia did well in the decades after 1970 in harvesting the low-hanging fruit of economic development.
As a result, Malaysia is on the cusp of crossing the $US15,000 per capita GDP threshold into the tier of advanced-income countries — a goal Najib made the centrepiece of Malaysia’s 2016-2020 economic program.
That this is a realistic ambition is because Najib, who has also been Finance Minister since 2008, has the experience and has shown the required leadership. He acted pre-emptively to strengthen the public finances, essential as a buffer against global trends. According to the IMF’s most recent Article IV consultation, “fiscal consolidation is well timed, appropriately paced, and remains on track”. Last year, Najib took the courageous step of using the window created by falling oil prices to eliminate expensive and poorly targeted petrol and diesel subsidies, at the same time introducing a broad-based 6 per cent goods and sales tax — the lowest in the region — to strengthen the country’s tax base and reduce its reliance on volatile oil and gas revenues. The fiscal deficit, which has almost halved since Najib became Prime Minister, is on course to be eliminated by 2020. This is the stuff of sophisticated economic management.
Progress on fiscal consolidation is especially impressive given the importance of maintaining social cohesion in such an ethnically diverse community of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others in an economy drawing in large numbers of seasonal migrants. As the IMF noted, strengthening Malaysia’s social safety is an integral part of Najib’s fiscal strategy. Bold measures will always generate controversy. The real point is that good economic management needs them. And Najib has done it.
This bold reform builds on substantial past progress. In 2012, Najib introduced a minimum income guarantee that helped lift 2.9 million people out of poverty. Since 2009, the income of the bottom 40 per cent of households has increased 50 per cent faster than the average. Cutting taxes has also formed part of Najib’s drive to accelerate the income growth of the bottom 40 per cent. Overall, the poverty rate declined from 49.3 per cent in 1970 to 0.6 per cent last year, meaning Malaysia has effectively eliminated hardcore poverty.
Women’s empowerment is also raising household income and Malaysia is the ASEAN leader in closing the gender gap. A higher proportion of management positions in Malaysia is held by women than in Hong Kong and Singapore. Last year, Najib set Malaysia the goal of having women in 30 per cent of decision-making positions.
In its consultation, the IMF listed the principal risk to Malaysian’s continued growth as being more challenging external conditions and exposure to international capital flows. However, it said this risk is mitigated by Malaysia’s flexible exchange rate, credible monetary policy and its fiscal consolidation. According to a Bloomberg markets survey in March, Malaysia tied with Chile in fifth place for the most promising emerging market nation and ranked as the No 1 ASEAN member.
The Malaysian model combining social inclusivity and pro-market economic policies has delivered one of the most impressive growth records in southeast Asia, one of the most dynamic regions in the world. This is a country at a historic juncture in development terms, making the right decisions as it climbs the development pole. You don’t do that without the tried and tested leadership of someone like Najib.
John Dauth is a former high commissioner to Malaysia and a former Australian high commissioner to Britain. 


  1. Anonymous9:01 am

    why not...bro

  2. Anonymous9:40 am

    well why u skip the part where and when transformation happened from agricultural to industrial, especially the part where a pledge made by one old man (as he is now) that by 2020 this nation to complete her transformation to developed nation status.

    i mean not u rocky but that white man. but if u may rocky please not be the same like the white man next time

    we cant bash bugis for what he had done, although neither white man nor rocky ever discussed the consequences of what bugis did.

    in the event of minimum wage policy, it is close to 1,000 a month. good as it gives more for families at the bottom millions. but now the costs of operations had to consider this minimum wage as well. smart guys in business dont absorb that rise in cost instead they pass it to consumers, which are us as well as the families that be getting the minimum wage as well. so what leaves us now? BR1M? business now looking for 'excuses' to find ways to rise price and whether bugis wants to believe or not BR1M is one perfect 'excuse' for that.

    an active involving finance minister should study the whole mechanisms as well as the structure of the system. of course bugis can announce billions of FDIs and this that growth percentages, but how about the situations on the grounds? last time the indians checked some basic stuffs rose over 50% in retail prices.

    surely when we got a pretty good gdp or whatever they call it, thats means the people are capable to spend. but is it the case? no. u know it rocky and all of us know it.

  3. Anonymous10:47 am

    Malaysia and Australia are in the same TPPA boat.

    Stupid people flock together.

  4. Anonymous11:59 am

    Yes Dato.

    Only Mahathir can pull this off. He is the country's contractor. He built KLCC, PLUS Highway, Penang Bridge, Dayabumi, Proton, etc.

    It cannot be Najib. He does not have construction experience. Need advise of Council of Elders ie Mahathir.

  5. Anonymous12:02 pm

    So Najib is Jaws. Except instead of killing people and mangling them in his teeth, he is a thief who steals from his people and gives the money to Saudi princes, Swiss bankers, Italian fashion designers, and French jewelers. At least Jaws ate for food, Rosmah shouldn't try to swallow one of her yellow diamonds. No matter how you try to spin it, Najib is no Robin Hood. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Najib stole from the poor people of Malaysia and gave it to one poor little rich Chinese kid from Penang. That's not a heroic action movie, that's a tragic comedy!

  6. Anonymous12:12 pm

    Dapuk...kipidap...the good job. You've hurt them even more...i mean those oppotoons and their kind...their ego is too big to swallow all facts and their brain was already full of fitnah and lies of their own creation...tertipu dgn keegoan diri sendiri...pandai tak bolih diikut...bodoh tak bolih diajar.

  7. Anonymous12:41 pm

    Surely this guy have been bought by Najib. And this guy is a yes man to Najib admin. Lol. Rings a bell?

  8. Anonymous12:57 pm

    that writer is Umno's prepaid blogga!!!

  9. Anonymous4:42 pm

    Great cut & paste job Latuk.

    Five minutes work, for how much?

    (Yep, that's a serious question.)

  10. Anonymous4:43 pm

    But Najib does not own the entire UMNO family. He is now supported only by the FONc- Friends of Najib clique. We know who are in this clique. Rahman dahalan, ahmad maslan, the newly inducted and given a second chance Azalina, and of course a certain class of former journalists still living in the past when the citizenry cannot answer back at their sublimal asininity.

    We are disillusioned with the old school journalists with the patsy feet. Nothing is more loathsome than having journalists sucking up to the establishment and defending the crooked PM with all the balderdash. Journalism's own ‘Hippocratic’ oath or pact the journalists ultimately have is with the public. For democracy to flourish, members of the journalistic fraternity must remain islands unto themselves.


  11. Anonymous4:45 pm

    Woww .... that is hot stuff cili to Tun M !!!


  12. More tax please5:14 pm

    All these scrapping of subsidies and GST taxes not enought to pay for 100 billions of robbery ma..
    Its a case of taxing the rakyat to pay the Jews, Indian and Cina man Jho Low muahaha..

  13. damansaraman6:18 pm

    Just get Najib to clear the air on 1MDB, RM2.6B and the related cases.

    Having great economic plan is not a good reason to delay any truth about the above issue. Even a successful rationalization exercise of 1MDB will not close the issue.

    Answer those issues responsibly. No amount of PR or communication effort can let him off the hook.

  14. Tebing Tinggi8:08 pm

    And yet Malaysia is rated A- and Singapore rated "triple A" by the rating agencies.

    Why, oh why, Mr Dauth?

  15. Anonymous9:24 pm

    Yups. so many jobs created from 1MDB. All those retrenched staffs from MAS, Shell, the local banks are now happily working in 1MDB.

  16. Anonymous11:34 pm

    Why our economy is so rosy as depicted in the article but our currency is the worst performing in the region? Care to answer Datuk Rocky?

  17. Anonymous1:42 pm

    Najin n geng terbukti bodoh lagi tak pandai. Berjalan luar negara merata rata.
    Tapi tak study secara keluruhan keadaan negara lain.
    US takde petrol subsidi, tapi diberi subsidi dlm bentuk food coupon dan sbgainya.
    Bagi mrk yg tak mampu, boleh masuk junior or komuniti kolej, bayarannya baru brp sen per semester. Harga kete die org murah. Rumah murah.Kebanyakan sistem freeway, tak payah bayar tol.
    Kat Australia, hospital free, uni free etc
    Dia punye minimum wage, keje separuh hari dah cukup.
    Kat UK, anak special needs ditanggung hampir spenuhnye oleh gomen.
    The moral of the story, nak tiru or follow negara lain, jgn amik separuh2 je.

  18. Anonymous5:18 pm

    Tq dato..its nice to hear once in a while good things abt Msia..nak muntah bla dgr msians burukkn negara sendiri..

    Org muo

  19. Obama is coming. DuSable and Yurus PE must not be talked about.

  20. Anonymous10:41 pm

    so many in denial...hahaha

  21. Mustapha Ong5:50 pm

    Bro Rocky.,I am not conviced but the truth must be told to the rakyat...storm is building up on the ground and the BN popularity in all the states are rolling down from border to border. If we just pretend that everything is okay, yeh we are in a state of denial! It's not about Najib Razak, it's about how this nation and country is managed in the window of the eyes! Nothing personal, as Tun Mahathir said it aptly BN may not fall flat but will suffer a reduced majority , if not 50/40 in the final count of votes.. Simple majority too is unachievable! We already know as our intelligence is not habprap!