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PPBM man slams Guan Eng over ‘baseless’ claims on economy

Afif Bahardin says Lim Guan Eng is trying to confuse the people over the government’s efforts to revitalise the economy.

PETALING JAYA: A PPBM leader has dismissed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s “doom and gloom” description of the country’s economy during the current lockdown and emergency, calling it a baseless accusation.

PPBM deputy information chief Dr Afif Bahardin supported his assertions by saying that rating agencies had predicted a better economic performance for the country this year.

Yesterday, Lim had called out senior minister for economy Azmin Ali for saying that the emergency would have no impact on investors’ confidence.

The former finance minister said Azmin was “deluded” in making such a statement.

In response, Afif said Malaysia was one of three Southeast Asian countries that recorded a high inflow of foreign investment, with RM326.1 million worth of equities acquired by investors, according to MIDF Research.

He added that when the emergency proclamation was made, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) traded higher by 1.53% and that the US credit rating agency Fitch Ratings had given Malaysia a “stable” rating and expects the country’s economy to come back strong at a rate of 6.7% this year, compared with a 6.1% downward trend last year.

“The ‘stable’ rating alone is tacit approval to the quick action by the Perikatan Nasional government in handling the Covid-19 spread, and also targeted aid to citizens and businesses,” Afif said in a statement today.

He said Lim was clearly trying to confuse the people over the government’s efforts to revitalise the economy.

“Lim’s failure to refer to the facts and data at hand only confirms his failure and weaknesses as a finance minister before this,” the former Penang exco member said.

Over the weekend, Azmin had said foreign investors would view the emergency as the government’s determination and seriousness in containing the pandemic.

The international trade and industry minister also said business activities had continued as usual after the emergency proclamation, which took effect from Jan 12.

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