SHAH ALAM, 18 Jan: A national crisis committee needs to be established to steer Malaysia in facing the economic crisis following the double shock of declining crude fuel prices.
Criticising the slowness of Putrajaya, the Selangor State Economic Advisor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, presented a strategy for Putrajaya to practice, including savings through the eradication of corruption, wastage and leakages, and channelling expenses to critical areas such as health and education.
Putrajaya has also been urged to adopt transparent governance, as well as involving economists, market experts and politicians in the cross-party committee proposed.
“This is the same attitude that has caused the destruction during the flood disaster recently. Flooding is a phenomenon that has taken place every year for centuries, but there are no serious control and prevention measures implemented by the government,” stressed Anwar during the keynote speech at the Meet Anwar programme at One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya today.
Revenue from oil and gas makes up 30 percent of the total government revenue. According to Anwar, the Budget 2015 that was presented on October 10 last year is based on the crude oil price range between USD100 to USD150 per barrel.
However, the price of crude oil per barrel now is reportedly down to USD50 per barrel. According to Anwar, Petronas warned that if the price of crude oil dropped to USD70 to USD75 per barrel, the government revenue will shrink by 8 percent, equivalent to RM19.4 billion.
According to Anwar, oil-producing countries such as Norway have prepared in advance to face the long-term effects of low oil prices.
“This is where the government has failed and continues to fail even when Pakatan Rakyat repeatedly urged them to step into the real world and take preventive measures. What has been done prior to this?” asked Anwar.
Citing the report by Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia, Anwar said that Malaysia recorded the worst stock performance in Asia for last year. Capital outflows, weak market and fiscal uncertainty will push the Ringgit to the lowest level,” he added.
“The people will need to remain thrifty and not add to debt or financial commitments that are not necessary.
“The people are waiting for the announcement this Tuesday and expects a serious and determined effort by the federal government to restructure the Budget 2015,” stressed Anwar.