|GERAKAN REFORMASI RAKYAT|
Statement by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong on the Prime Minister Dato? Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad?s hope for 2001 surplus budget. 27.9.2000
We Urge The Prime Minister To Take Concrete Steps To Stimulate Economic Sectors That Are Still Suffering From Recession So As to Reduce The Burden Of The People.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir believed that the country had earned sufficient money and hoped that we could achieve a surplus budget. We wish this surplus budget will help all sectors.
Indeed, manufacturing based on American dollars is doing well and crude oil price has risen from US$12 to US38 per barrel-a record in the last decade. Some predict that the economy will grow at 7% or more.
No matter what the Prime Minister says, some sectors such as retailed trade or even the property and construction sectors are down. Apparently, these sectors are feeling the real effects of the 1997 economic crisis. The slump in rubber and palm oil price affects people badly.
Although the Government approves petrol pump price increase and warns of price hype in other goods, the consumers are wary. The Government does not monitor prices effectively.
We hope that the Prime Minister not only presents good economic picture but also tries his utmost to pay attention to those depressed sectors. While the Government must increase the effectiveness of price monitoring, it has to use the crude oil price increase and the manufacturing to stimulate other sectors.
The Government encourages the local car market. But, it is not doing that well. The Government has to improve its measures in all sectors.
Other factors that affect the economy includes capital control. The Ringgit is pegged to US$ at 1 US$ to RM3.80. Truly, RM is undervalued. What is the effects of this? As the faults in the international financial architecture remain, what is the Malaysian strategy to deal with the situation? Although the Prime Minister says that capital control continues, he must let us know how to overcome the uncertainties.
- Dr Tan Seng Giaw -