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Anwar says govt fails to address issue of competitiveness in Budget 2009

by Sharon Tan

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim regarded the Budget 2009 as nothing new and that the government had failed to address the issue of competitiveness.

“It is nothing new. We reiterate that in the last four to five years, when there was global pressure and economic slowdown, the prime minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) were not able to provide new stimulus.

“The problem is that we have lost the competitive edge. There are no new foreign direct investments (FDIs),” he said, adding that problems of management and corruption were not dealt with," he told reporters at parliament lobby on Aug 29.

For an oil-producing country, Malaysia continued to register deficit which would have been understandable for a country that has no recourse, he said.

“The issue is not giving sweeteners to Sabah, Sarawak and the poor because it does not commensurate with the big increase in inflation and high cost. What is given does not alleviate the problem and sufferings of the poor,” he added.

Anwar also accused Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of failing to address the issue of competitiveness.

“We continue to be in a state of denial. We are not able to shift from the obsolete economic policy where there are rampant corruptions and fail to be more competitive because we are stuck with the old policies.

“I see no way where we can attract FDI. Without FDI, Malaysia cannot propel its economy. And this, unfortunately, was not addressed," said Anwar.

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