Street demos ‘shooing away investors’

By Gladys Tay, The Star

The street protest by the anti-ISA group is just a publicity stunt and a way to attract foreign attention, said MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

He said those responsible for the protest only wanted to show that whatever was happening in the country was not good and that only their opinions were right.

“The protest will only scare away investors. In the end, the people will suffer as they will lose out on future job opportunities that might have been brought by these investors,” he said.

Samy said he did not understand why all the protests against the policy when it had been there for a long time.

“The ISA was there since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the deputy prime minister and he did not object to it then.

“Why reject it now?” he asked.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said street demonstrations were scaring off potential investors and affecting tourist arrivals in the country, He said those who took part in street protests should realise the long-term effects of their act on the country’s economy.

He said political stability was among the main concerns of investors when deciding where to invest.

“I hope everyone realises that street demonstration will be broadcast in international media like CNN and Al-Jazeera and this depicts a bad image of our country,” he said after opening the Pulai Umno delegates meeting yesterday.

He was commenting on the anti-ISA street protest in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Ahmad Husni said street protests would also affect tourism in the country and would not help to improve the economy.

“Our GDP relies a lot on trade but this year, this sector has dropped by an average of 20% from January to June.

“We have to rely on other alternative sources to replace the drop in trade, and tourism is one of them,” he said.

In Geoge Town, Umno is of the view that the demonstration against the ISA was conceived to divert attention from the internal crisis brewing in Pakatan Rakyat, its Information head Ahmad Maslan said.

Ahmad said the Opposition intentionally orchestrated the protest despite knowing that the Federal Government had agreed to review the Act.

“It is nothing more than a tactic to conceal weaknesses in Pakatan particularly in the states under its administration,” he said when opening the Bagan Umno division annual delegates meeting.