KUALA LUMPUR: The belittling of Malaysia that could affect perceptions overseas will cause ordinary Malaysians, not politicians, to suffer, Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak said.
Describing it as an act of ‘economic sabotage’, he said the government’s opponents in the country often preferred to avoid engaging on facts.
“They (the opposition) create false propaganda – like the idea that this is a state on the verge of bankruptcy – some of which sadly gain traction internationally.
“This running down of Malaysia is nothing less than economic sabotage for selfish and personal political gain,” he said in his keynote address at the Global Transformation Forum here today.
Najib said this kind of ‘fake news’ almost wrecked the deal between Saudi Aramco and Petronas.
He also took a jibe at a ‘former leader’ whom many would not expected to have “told lies about his own country”.
“When he tells people that Malaysia is facing bankruptcy, some believe him. In fact, he knows he is telling lies.
“The truth is the very opposite. Millions of jobs created. Strong and consistent growth. Low inflation and unemployment. The fiscal deficit cut from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to 3.1 per cent in 2016. Twice the degree of social mobility than in France, Britain or the United States,” he said.
Countless measures, Najib said, had been put in place to ensure continued transformation into an innovative, knowledge-based economy, with sustainability and inclusivity at its core.
“We are working for a nation at ease with others and proud of its unique and vibrant diversity – because I am not just concerned about the GDP or headline figures, but also public happiness and the well-being of each and every household,” he pointed out.-NST