FORMER Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has alleged that the implementation of half-baked lockdowns by the person he called “Bapa Lockdown Malaysia) (literally translated to “Father of Malaysian Lockdowns”) had ruined the finances and livelihood of Malaysians.
The Pekan MP said this while debating the Supply Bill 2022 in Parliament on Monday (Nov 1).
However, he did not specifically identify the “Father of Malaysian Lockdowns” by name.
“The half -baked lockdown, which is one of the longest in the world, was implemented by the ‘Father of Malaysian Lockdowns’ from the previous Government.
“It has devastated the finances and the lives of many but yet, the rate of infection as well as mortality of COVID-19 [remains high] compared to the size of the country’s population.”
Najib went on to point out that the death toll in Malaysia is the highest in ASEAN and among the highest in the world in 2021.
Meanwhile, he further claimed that Malaysia’s Budget 2022, with its budget proposal of 332.1 billion ringgit, is susceptible to too many risks.
He said that the Government will be forced to borrow even more money to support its high expenditure plans at a time when revenue projections remain low.
He blamed the current situation on the decisions undertaken by the past two Governments following the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018.
The two biggest past Government “mistakes” were the abolishment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well as the “half-baked” lockdown measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The first major mistake of the previous Government was when it decided to abolish the GST, thereby increasing the Government’s dependence on petroleum revenue while scaring off investors by claiming that the country was already bankrupt and approving the sale of state-owned assets which yielded returns to the Government but at the expense of long-term interest.”
The second “mistake” according to Najib is the enforcement of the lockdown and movement control orders in the effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Budget 2022, which was tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz on Friday (Oct 29) will be debated by Members of Parliament (MPs) at the Dewan Rakyat from Monday (Nov 1).
Based on the Parliamentary sitting calendar, Budget 2022 is scheduled to be discussed at policy level for seven days and will be wound up by the ministers or deputy ministers of the relevant ministries for four days before being discussed at the committee level for 13 days.
By : Bernie Yeo – FOCUS MALAYSIA