Saturday, September 20, 2008

Challenges Of The New Finance Minister

Deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has just taken over the finance ministry. On the second day after the failed toppling of the government by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the swapping of Cabinet posts with his deputy, while emphasising on the threats Anwar poses to the country's economic and political stability.

Politics and economy are closely related to each other. A country in which her people can enjoy good life, is bound to be strong and powerful.

The good life that the people want is easy enough. Wherever they are, whether they are at home or outside, they want to live a life that is free from the fear of being robbed, snatched, raped or killed.

The first and foremost thing Malaysians want now is a peaceful life. Only when we can live peacefully and safely are we able to make further advances in our careers and business endeavours. In view of this, our police force should put the priority on crime battling.

As for the economy, we need a government that can take up the responsibility and help the people sail through turbulent times especially in the face of economic turmoil and external uncertainties. One thing that we least expect from the government is more internal shocks.

A capable finance minister and government will at least announce with full transparency all the measures that will help the people weather short-term risks in the face of global uncertainties, so that Malaysians are better prepared to brace the more violent storms ahead. Meanwhile, companies will also be able to ride through the turbulence without having to incur heavy losses.

The finance minister must be people-friendly and try to understand the needs of Malaysians from all walks of life while harnessing our own resources to enhance our competitiveness. The government must be able to put the best talents into the most appropriate positions.

With the external environment remaining highly unpredictable, it is obviously not an easy task for anyone to take over the job of finance minister. Malaysians are looking forward to the new FM to revitalise commercial activities and investments in a bid to bring greater prosperity to the nation.

Meanwhile, existing projects and economic plans must also be prudently supervised and implemented to stimulate domestic demands and economic expansion. (By ZHANG QIHUA, Business Desk/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)


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