KUALA LUMPUR – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak rapped certain politicians who were keen on making remarks using inaccurate facts relating to the economic situation and national stability.
He said factual accuracy was important not just for the country’s image and political stability, but also to boost investors’ confidence in Malaysia.
“In politics, we can have different opinions, but defending the country is our common responsibility.
“That is why when we want to comment about national economy, it is wrong to claim that our economy is failing and that we are going bankrupt. These allegations are far from accurate,” Salleh said in his blog yesterday.
While questioning the rationale of such allegations, Salleh pointed out data which proved that the country’s economy was going strong under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Trading Economics 2017 reported that the national gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter in 1998 (-7.36 per cent), 2008 (3.32 per cent) and 2009 (-2.53 per cent).
“Having accurate fact is important to protect the image of our country and our leader. We may not agree with our leader, but to portray a wrong image of the leader and his good deeds is just morally and politically wrong,” he said.
On the allegation that the prime minister had spent so much of people’s money on overseas trips, Salleh said it was untrue as Najib travelled abroad to attract foreign investment, not holidaying.
“His visit to India, for example, has attracted RM159 billion worth of investment, while the visit to China brought in RM144 billion.
“With this direct foreign investment, we can develop, among others, the Carey Island Port Project worth USD9.39 billion and the RM15 billion Robotic Future City on a 404.6-hectare site in Johor Bahru,” he said.
The minister said with the implementation of the projects, more jobs can be created for the people and the country’s economy will continue to grow.
He said he just could not understand how certain quarters could claim that Malaysia is a failed state when the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017 reported that Malaysia was ranked 24 th among the 63 most competitive countries in the world compared to other ASEAN member countries like Thailand which ranked 27th , Philippine (41st), and Indonesia (42nd), while Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei were not even listed.
In this regard, he said the use of inaccurate facts should be stopped as those false information could bring about negative impact to national development and security.