PUTRAJAYA — March 26, 2018: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has decided to rebut an article by a former Malaysian ambassador, saying the rant contained “full of wild but unsubstantiated accusations, based on anger but devoid of facts, opinions masquerading as facts”.
Citing an example from Datuk Dennis Ignatius’ ‘GE14: Last Chance for Change’ article which claimed that the government had been extraordinarily incompetent and reckless fiscally, he pointed out that the fiscal deficit had been reduced by more than half — from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to three last year.
On his claims that “And while Kuala Lumpur has more millionaires than Abu Dhabi, 90 per cent of rural, mostly Malay households, have zero savings”, Anifah reasoned that its is not surprising for KL to have more millionaires than Abu Dhabi as Malaysia’s economy has been doing extraordinarily well and Malaysia’s population is 31 million compared to UAE’s 1.4 million.
“As for the 90 per cent, this hardly makes sense. Any worker in Malaysia would have at least either an EPF (Employees Provident Fund) account or a pension. Furthermore, the government is also trying to improve financial education,” he said in a statement today to rebut Ignatius’ article dated March 21.
Anifah questioned Ignatius’ claim in the article that the majority of young workers cannot earn enough to live decently.
“I question his use of terms such as majority and live decently.
“We all recognise that unless one is blessed with wealthy parents, all young workers face challenging situations, but for many young Malaysians, our quiet heroes, they continue with the business of life, improving themselves and our country,” he noted.
Anifah also told Ignatius that his untoward criticisms of the government, his constant griping and whining of the good old days were not at all well received by officers at Wisma Putra.
“I could go on, but in all honesty I have a job to do. Spending too much time on blogs such as these distracts the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from its important job of defending the nation’s interest,” said Anifah, adding that too much time on blogs would not do justice to the very many hardworking, creative and patriotic people at Wisma Putra.
“There is nothing to show that this is the case; Tun Dr Mahathir only wants to give the indication that the wrongs of the past were not his doings – he was merely following advice. He has given no indication that he would change. Is this the attitude of a reformed man, committed to reformasi?” he asked.
On Ignatius’ argument that “in any case, Anwar (PKR adviser), Mat Sabu (Parti Amanah Negara president) and Lim Kit Siang (DAP leader) will be there to ensure that no one hijacks the reform agenda”, Anifah said what this meant was that were the opposition to win, all their time and energies would be dedicated to check one another, guaranteeing instability and chaos for five years.
“If Dato’ Dennis (Ignatius) was still in service and this analysis is included in his political report, that report would be thrown immediately into the garbage can; his judgement, credibility and objectivity would also be questioned.”
But Anifah agrees with Ignatius on one thing – that the opposition faces an uphill task due to their own incompetence in managing the states under their control and the shambles and chaos in the opposition coalition. — Bernama