Lim Kit Siang
Yesterday, I criticised the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for coming up with a wishy-washy “1Malaysia” concept, which has come to mean “a thousand and one” different things even to Umno and Barisan Ministers and leaders – resulting in his lament that “I am greatly saddened that such an idea, which is not terribly complicated, is so often not understood.”
This criticism has found support in the latest report of the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) on Malaysia which is quite pessimistic about the Najib strategy of “trying to be all things to all people, but in the end he might satisfy no one”.
In what Malaysian Insider has described as a “blistering report” on Malaysia at the end of January, PERC raised Malaysia’s risk index from 5.24 in December to 5.4 in January – out of a possible maximum score 10 for highest level of risk.
PERC maintained in its report that foreign investments into Malaysia have not been forthcoming, either in direct form or in the equity markets.
It said: “Foreign companies and investors are remaining cautious until they see how Malaysia gets its own house in order.”
PERC is confirming the alarm raised by all astute observers of the Malaysian national scene – that Malaysia is sliding down the slope of becoming even more uncompetitive internationally despite Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and plan for a Malaysia 2.0 new economic model.
The PERC report said it is “probable” that no other Asian country is suffering from as much bad international press as Malaysia.
Among the developments that caught the attention of world media were the theft of military jet engines, detention of terror suspects from a number of African and Middle East countries following warnings that Islamic militants were planning attacks on foreigners at resorts in Sabah, renewed ethnic and religious “violence” that included arson at some churches and desecration of mosques, and controversy over the integrity of key institutions like the judicial system in the sodomy trial of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.