Kit Siang says Najib trying to ‘out-Mahathir’ Dr M’s mega projects

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Lim Kit Siang has accused Datuk Seri Najib Razak of trying to outdo Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by building a 100-storey skyscraper rather than a high-income economy.

The influential DAP advisor said today that the Budget 2011 tabled last Friday did not reflect the objectives of New Economic Model (NEM) introduced by the prime minister to transform Malaysia from a middle income country to a high income economy.

“Despite all its bombast and pyrotechnics, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 2011 budget is not a child of the New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited policies which have landed Malaysia in the middle-income trap for more than a decade, setting the country towards a failed and bankrupt nation come 2019,” said Lim in a statement.

“Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir’s obsession with mega projects like the proposed RM5 billion 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower is back with a vengeance,” said the DAP parliamentary leader.

“It must be asked whether Najib is secretly trying to out-Mahathir Mahathir not only to build a tower higher than Mahathir’s Petronas Twin Towers, but which could be acclaimed as the tallest in the world — however brief the claim?” he added.

When tabling Budget 2011 on Friday, Najib said that the Warisan Merdeka would be a Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) project, sited adjacent to Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara and is expected to cost RM5 billion and will be the tallest tower in Malaysia upon its completion in 2015.

“Najib’s 2011 Budget is not convincing that it represents the first budget of a New Economic Model to transform Malaysia from a middle income country to an inclusive and sustainable high-income developed country by 2020, emphasising high-skilled human capital, efficient public services, a reinvigorated private sector and equal opportunity for all Malaysians,” said the Ipoh Timur MP.

He also doubted if the Najib administration plan increase talents in the domestic job market would succeed due to the prime minister’s lack of political will to implement the NEM vision of ensuring equal opportunity.