Anwar should focus on leading Malaysia out of the middle-income trap

Most Malaysians are worried about the rising cost of living and the weakening ringgit, and that should be Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s priority.

So said political analyst Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk as the Malaysian ringgit hit a record low of RM3.5333 against the Singapore dollar on Jan 23 and RM4.72 against the US dollar yesterday morning.

He said Anwar has enough on his plate and does not need to comment on the many corruption cases, particularly against former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Azeem said Anwar needs to focus on leading Malaysia out of the middle-income trap, which it has been in for many years.

“The geopolitical environment is changing. The animosity between the United States and China is rising, and that will affect our economy,” said Azeem.

“We must look at what is happening in the real economy. We cannot keep talking about the GDP (gross domestic product), as it does not reflect how much people have in the bank.

“Anwar needs to find a way to help those struggling to make ends meet. That is the best way to counter the opposition.”

On Jan 22, Dr Mahathir accused Anwar of using government agencies to go after his “political enemies”.

“Don’t get me wrong, I am not in favour of letting the corrupt go free, but the prime minister has enough issues to handle without getting involved in a spat with someone like Dr Mahathir,” said Azeem.

“There’s no benefit whatsoever to the country. Whatever vendetta Dr Mahathir has with Anwar is not conducive and does not contribute to the nation economically.”

Azeem said Dr Mahathir was just “stirring the pot” and Anwar should not fall into the trap of commenting.

“Let the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and other law enforcement agencies do their work. If there is evidence, charge them in court,” said Azeem.

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