KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 – A Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government will reform the market and eliminate corruption to ensure continuous economic growth, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim promised today.
The opposition leader told the Al-Jazeera news channel today that Malaysia’s budget deficit was caused by poor governance and “endemic corruption”.
“We believe in market reforms,” said Anwar in an interview with Al-Jazeera that was broadcast live today, after Parliament was dissolved earlier this morning.
“We’re very strong in distributive justice and affirmative action for the poor. We must cut corruption and ensure the country is governed in a transparent manner,” he added.
Anwar (picture) stressed that good governance was PR’s central focus in Election 2013, which is expected to be the most closely contested in history, saying: “There’s a clear position to respect the rights of all Malaysians and rid the country of excesses and corruption.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told newswire Reuters last month that a smaller parliamentary majority for Barisan Nasional (BN) could hamper his efforts in curbing the budget deficit and may cause economic instability.
The budget deficit dropped to 4.5 per cent last year from more than 6 per cent when Najib took office in 2009.
Malaysia’s debt, however, has hit 53 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – close to the ceiling of 55 per cent – up from 43 per cent in 2008.
Analysts have said that Najib’s transformation initiatives under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) contributed to the GDP growth rate of 6.4 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year.
Najib said in a televised address earlier today that a strong mandate would enable the government to develop the nation.