KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has conceded that Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be more difficult to displace as prime minister as he has proven to be a more effective political leader than his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

In an interview with the Financial Times of London published yesterday, Lim, who is already setting his sights on the next general election, said: “There is a chance (of the opposition winning a parliamentary majority), but it is not going to be easy. It is probably harder under Najib than under Abdullah. I think Najib can get things done better than Abdullah.”

The report, written by its Singapore correspondent Kevin Brown, said the comments of Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, were in contrast with the aggressive rhetoric of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had suggested that the Barisan Nasional-led federal government could be forced out before the next election by defections from its parliamentary ranks.

The Pakatan Rakyat coalition has 83 seats in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat and needs to win 29 more parliamentary seats to take power.

The report said that Najib, since taking over as prime minister in April, had been reaching out to woo voters by being more encompassing in his policies for all ethnic groups, speaking out against corruption, freeing political prisoners and focusing campaigning resources on winnable seats.

To drive home the point, the report said Najib recently announced an inquiry into the Port Klang Free Zone, a port development project alleged plagued by cost overruns.
Recently, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, an independent brokerage and investment group headquartered in Hong Kong, said Najib had covered good ground since taking office with a number of positive and impressive policies and actions.

These include liberalising the New Economic Policy, ensuring greater transparency, speeding up the award of government infrastructure projects and improving ties with Singapore to draw more foreign direct investments into Iskandar Malaysia, a development region in Johor twice the size of Singapore.

Labelling Najib’s positive economic and social reforms as “Najibnomics”, given his economics background, it said they were aimed at stimulating the local economy, attracting foreign investments and foreign talent, reducing bureaucracy, tackling crime and corruption, effecting greater accountability and promoting national unity (through the 1Malaysia concept).

With his background on industrial economics from the University of Nottingham, CLSA said, Najib had been quick to effect various fiscal, government and structural reforms. — Bernama


Post a Comment