HSR project: Gov’t flip flop undermining local, foreign confidence

THE Government’s flip flop on many national economic decisions will only undermine Malaysia’s credibility and make the nation a laughing stock.

“For example, the Government must come clean on how much it’s going to cost taxpayers by cancelling the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project.

“As we know, our Finance Minister made several announcements during the Budget 2021 speech, among them that the HSR project will continue.

“He also said that Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors will have easy access to Account 1 funds due the economic downturn but that was not the case either.

“So, all this backpedaling on decisions only reveals how weak and distracted the Perikatan Nasional Government is today,” Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in a Facebook post.

Yesterday, the Government decided to end the HSR project, leaving many confused as the project was initially slated to proceed as planned.

Singapore’s Transport Ministry said Putrajaya had allowed the HSR bilateral agreement to be terminated and has agreed to compensate the republic for costs already incurred in fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.

Malaysia, on the other hand, said it would honour its obligations under the HSR Bilateral Agreement with Singapore and pay compensation, which may run the tune of RM300 mil.

The decision received brickbats from both sides of the political divide, with former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and former Transport Minister Anthony Loke calling the Government to come clean on the decision.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

On that note, Anwar said that hasty decision would only undermine foreign investors’ confidence on the nation, adding it creates a perception that nothing concrete can be decided when dealing with Malaysia.

“For instance, when the Government announced the targetted loan moratorium for borrowers, I was informed that the conditions attached for hire purchase loans are too rigid and only adds to the cost.

“All these sends wrong signals to not only our people but also foreigners. We don’t have the luxury act this way as people are suffering due to the pandemic and volatile economy,” said the former Deputy Prime Minister.

By : G Vinod – FOCUS MALAYSIA

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