Political mess impedes policies implementation

The nation remains in limbo without a govt to spearhead the execution of policies in place


THE current political turmoil could impede the progress of major government policies. Malaysia has an interim prime minister (PM), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but the country remains in limbo without a government to spearhead the execution of policies in place.

Sunway University Business School economist Prof Dr Yeah Kim Leng said market investors are looking for political stability above any other concerns that affect the economy.

Therefore, Yeah said a new legitimate government is urgently needed before national policies could be carried out and simultaneously ease off the economic downward pressure.

“Any slight delay would rattle the market, so it is important to quickly establish a new government to ensure political stability and continuity.

“The administration could not function without ministers, putting key government policies and implementation on hold,” Yeah told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.

With the current situation, the forthcoming economic stimulus package which is designed to counter the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak would unlikely be introduced this tomorrow as planned.

TMR had reported that Malaysia could lose close to RM6 billion this year due to the virus outbreak.

The figure is expected to be inflated if authorities around the world fail to contain the virus spread.

Former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement, after having met Dr Mahathir yesterday morning, the economic stimulus package will be announced by the interim PM on a date yet to be determined.

Yeah said the new administration would need to roll out the stimulus package as soon as possible to allay concerns among investors and ease pressure on the market.

Putra Business School business development manager Associate Prof Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff said the nation needs to resolve the political crisis to contain negative sentiments in the market.

“There is a need to resolve this political impasse so that the planned fiscal stimulus package can be executed. “Certain sectors such as construction are affected by negative sentiments on the prospect of government change,” Ahmad Razman told TMR yesterday.

Other major federal policies at risk of derailment due to the political predicament are the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP); the rationalisation between Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM); and the takeover of four tolled highways in Selangor — the Damansara- Puchong Expressway (LDP: Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd), Sprint Expressway (Sprint: Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd), Shah Alam Expressway (SAE: Konsortium Expressway Shah Alam Selangor Sdn Bhd) and SMART Tunnel (SMART: Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir dan Terowong Sdn Bhd) — that are linked to Gamuda Bhd.

The 12MP underscored the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which manifested goals of the collapsed Pakatan Harapan administration for Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the proposed Mavcom-CAAM merger is deemed critical to ensure Malaysia regain Category 1 of civil aviation safety rating from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The political uncertainty would also put the brakes on several plans by the previous government including water tariff revision, Personal Data Protection Act 2010 enhancement and the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking proposal.

“Hopefully, the interim PM can quickly garner support to form a government as soon as possible,” Yead said.

Besides the economic stimulus package, Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said the fuel subsidy mechanism could also be at risk of derailment due to the current political upheaval.