(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): I have sent an email to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and all Ministers urging the Cabinet to restore investor confidence through bold economic reforms starting with an end to all crony bailouts and buy-outs and to review and undo previous bailout and buyout deals not justifiable in the national interests like those involving MAS, Time dotCom, the LRT companies of Putra and Star, etc.
Several Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders have expressed shock and described the resignation of Tun Daim Zainuddin as Finance Minister as a great loss to the nation. If these are genuine sentiments, then the Cabinet tomorrow should adopt a resolution asking Daim to continue as Finance Minister as a national service.
The biggest challenge facing the nation is not the coming or going of Daim, but how the Malaysian economy is to restore investor confidence which had suffered the most severe battering in the region, as testified by Malaysia being Asia's worst-performing stock market this year, down 16 per cent so far, despite the three Viagra-type injections to boost the Malaysian economy in the past two months - the RM3 billion economic stimulus package to counter the US economic slowdown, the Third Outline Perspective Plan and the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
As Daim is fully identified with the policy of crony bail-outs and buy-outs using public monies and those of government-linked funds and agencies like the Employees Provident Fund (KWSP) and Pensions Trust Fund (KWAP), let the Cabinet tomorrow announce to the nation and the world an end to the policy of crony bail-outs and buy-outs and the establishment of an Independent Commission to review and undo previous bailout and buyout deals not justifiable in the national interests like those involving MAS, Time dotCom, the LRT companies of Putra and Star, etc.
No other measure than this would be more cathartic in restoring investor confidence, both national and international, and pave the way for the introduction of true accountability, transparency and good governance in the management of the Malaysian economy.
The Independent Commission should make public a full report into all the bail-outs and buy-outs of companies and individuals involving public monies or government-linked funds and agencies since the start of the financial crisis in 1997.