Limbo low now, how low can we go – before things get better? (By the way, where is Jho Low now?) Everywhere you go, you hear gloom about the state of the economy – and this public sentiment is not without basis.
The following graphs speak volumes about the state of affairs of the country:
Malaysia’s external debt stood at a staggering RM745bn in the fourth quarter of 2014. And that would exclude contingent liabilities and off-budget/off-balance sheet items. This is the graph for the last five years:
Felda Global Ventures share price under Isa Samad’s stewardship:
Remember how Pakatan campaigners were blocked from entering Felda schemes in the last general election campaign?
And this is the Tenaga Nasional Berhad share price (last three months) amidst concerns over the pricing of any power plants to be acquired from 1MDB.
Poor, poor TNB, hammered by the IPPs before and now facing the fallout from the uncertainty over 1MDB. Guess who ultimately pays for all this…
And this is the share price for MAS Bhd:
Oops, sorry, no share price available as the firm is already kaput and delisted. MAS had reportedly lost some RM20bn of public money since 1994.
RM per US$1 exchange rate for over the last year. Speaks for itself:
Where has all that money gone? Over RM1 trillion (yes, we have graduated to trillion from mere billions) vanished before our eyes over the last decade:
There are lots of other graphs that could be added to this collection, including the rising number of unemployed graduates, which stands at an alarming 161000 and which can only rise further given the freeze in the recruitment of civil servants.
But you get the picture.
Even without the 1MDB scandal, don’t you think it is time that Najib relinquished the Finance Minister’s post?
If the state of 1MDB is considered, then Najib’s position as PM (leaving aside the status of the 1MDB Board) looks increasingly untenable given that he is the chair of the Board of Advisors of 1MDB and Finance Minister as well. The buck has to stop with him. And he should appear before the PAC.
Can you imagine, if we had put public funds to better use, if public funds hadn’t been squandered through rampant corruption, cronyism, useless projects, and an enormous illicit outflow of funds, we could have been a first world nation by now with a fantastic social safety net (education, health care, public transport).
But no, a small group has become fabulously wealthy instead, while so many households are struggling to meet basic needs.