KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak says the Barisan Nasional government left behind a country which had a strong and solid economy to Pakatan Harapan.
The strong economy, said the former prime minister, was achieved through transformative policies and comprehensive economic management, recognised by world bodies.
“This was acknowledged by the World Bank and World Economic Forum (WEF), which placed Malaysia as 23rd among the world’s most competitive countries.
“In years to come, Malaysia could even be among the most advanced economies,” he said during the debate session in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.
Najib (BN - Pekan) said the economic policies championed by BN had also saved the country from being directly impacted by the global economic crisis.
Through comprehensive planning as well as the National Transformation Programme introduced by BN, he said the government did not need to generate capital funds, assets funds or Tabung Harapan to save the national economy.
“As such, I am offering my experience and knowledge to help the new government improve the economy,” he said.
Najib also voiced his concern over the fates of Felda, Risda and Felcra settlers whom he said appear to be sidelined by the government.
He said, during the BN administration, the livelihood of the settlers, as well as the price of pal oil, was made a government priority.
“Now, it would seem as if the settlers are being ignored. Settlers Day (Hari Peneroka) was not even celebrated, payments are coming in late and promises have gone unfulfilled.
“Even the Hari Raya Aidilfitri bonus was lower than before. Does this mean that payments to the settlers will be of lower value than before?
“PH had promised to cancel all of the settlers’ debts within 100 days. What will happen to this promise?” he asked.
Najib also questioned the declining prices of palm oil and rubber.
“Prior to May 9, palm oil prices were high because I had continuously promoted it to the world market, including China. Now, the prices have gone down to RM1,200 per tonne, the lowest in three years.
“Rubber prices have also shrank, affecting the lives of smallholders. The country’s pal oil and rubber exports have declined while Indonesia’s is growing stronger,” he said.
Najib expressed hope that the government would not reduce the settlers to becoming second or third-class communities. The government, he said, should announce measures for Felda and disclose plans on how it plans to tackle the issue of low commodity prices,” he said.
He also touched on the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which he said was a return to old policies.
“The GST stabilised prices. Once the Sales and Services Tax (SST) returns in September, there will be another round of price increases,” he said.