Oct 13, 2008
I FIND it incredible that the unprecedented global financial crisis that has governments everywhere on edge and frantically finding solutions finds little or no mention in Malaysian news of what the government is doing to tackle the imminent fallout.
Perhaps Malaysia has a secret recipe for tackling financial crises having successfully survived one over a decade ago. Or is it something else?
The global crisis that originated from the US housing and sub-prime mortgage crash spread worldwide and massacred the world’s stock markets are now entering the dangerous phase of damaging businesses and economies, and creating widespread unemployment.
The domino effect of the credit freeze worldwide is going to be evident in the developed world. But do I sense a tidak apa attitude in Malaysia and in the region?
The carnage in the financial and stock markets will inevitably affect the region yet we don’t see Asean calling for an emergency meeting to deal with the global crisis and its impact on the region.
That speaks volumes about their confidence or are they simply preoccupied with more important things?
The suggestion that Malaysia having de-coupled its economy from the US will not be badly affected is naive to say the least.
I read Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s statement on the urgency to deal with the crisis which is both relevant and timely and can’t help empathising with him in his frustration over the Umno top leadership transition pact.
People have to ask whether this sort of political wheeling and dealing is in the national interest and whether the country can afford to bide time while the incumbent leader works out his remaining days when the country faces a global financial and economic crisis that happens only “once in a generation.”
I scoured all the English newspapers but could hardly find any worthy mention of strong and decisive action by the politicians to face the imminent impact of the global catastrophe except the lonely voices of concerned politicians who should be asking for an emergency seating of Parliament to unite the country and form a bi-partisan approach to face the crisis.
More than ever Malaysia needs a prime minster who is diligent and capable and able to inspire confidence at home and abroad to prepare the country for the worst that the global fallout will present.
But what we can’t afford is a lack of leadership in this crucial hour.
It is easy for some politicians to talk about attracting foreign investments to take advantage of the US problems but why would anyone want to invest in Malaysia when there are now even more attractive opportunities elsewhere?
The financial crisis is as much a crisis of confidence. But I don’t see the politicians doing their utmost to bolster public confidence. Instead they appear more concerned about their personal interests than the country’s national interest.
If our politicians are so sure that Malaysia will weather the economic storm and that is why they are not spending too much time worrying about the global crisis then I guess we are truly a lucky country.
Ignorance is bliss and inaction is the panacea the world has yet to discover.