Anwar: Budget 2009 not good enough to attract FDI

KUALA LUMPUR: Parliamentary Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said the 2009 Budget is not good enough to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) which is important to propel the country's economy.

"Nothing new. We reiterated that in the last four, five years when there was global pressure and slow economy, (but) the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional were not able to give new incentives.

"The problem is that we have lost the competitive edge. There are no new FDI, slow management and corruption. These were not dealt with," he said to reporters after the prime minister had tabled the budget in the parliament.

Describing it as a deficit budget, Anwar said for an oil-producing country, it is exceptional that Malaysia continues to register deficit.
"It is understandable for a country that has no resources," he added.

Anwar said the issue is not about giving sweeteners to Sabah and Sarawak and the poor because it does not commensurate with the big increase in inflation and cost of living.

"What is given does not alleviate the problems and sufferings of the poor. Abdullah did not address the issue of competitiveness. We continue to be in a state of denial," he said, adding the government was not able to shift from its obsolete economic policy where corruption is rampant.

"The failure to be more competitive is because we are stuck with old policies. I see no way where we can attract FDI. Without FDI, Malaysia cannot propel its economy. It is unfortunate this was not addressed.

"The endemic corruption, tenders awarded to cronies and family members, failure to cut cost and be more efficient. All these are not addressed."

Anwar commented that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi looked nervous when delivering the speech, saying that it was probably "because of the unrest in the people."

He was also disappointed with Abdullah for not dealing with major issues like the inefficient police force, the increase of crime rate and judicial corruption.

The Sun

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