Give credit where it’s due

When Anwar was finance minister, Dr Mahathir was the prime minister. So, should not Mahathir be credited for the good economic performance instead of Anwar?

By Raja Petra Kamarudin, FMT

FMT columnist Selena Tay recently wrote an article called ‘Political blockbuster: Dragon vs Dinosaur’.

In that article, she compared Malaysia’s economic growth during the time when Anwar Ibrahim was the finance minister from 1992 to 1997 to the time when Najib Tun Razak is prime minister from 2009 to 2011.

Basically, what the columnist says is that Malaysia performed better when Anwar was the finance minister compared to when Najib is prime minister.

Note, and I repeat, the analysis that Selena did compares Anwar as finance minister to Najib as prime minister.

Now, when Anwar was finance minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister. So, should not Mahathir be credited for the good performance instead of Anwar?

Okay, let us assume that Mahathir had no hand in this. Let us assume that it was the finance minister, Anwar , who should be credited for this good performance.

However, during that same period, 1992 to 1994, Malaysia also lost RM30 billion ‘playing’ the Forex market.

So, who is to be blamed for this?

Since the good economic performance of the country during the period when Anwar was the finance minister must be credited to Anwar, should not Anwar, therefore, also take the blame for whatever bad that happened?

In this case, no!

The RM30 billion Forex losses are Mahathir’s fault. Mahathir was the prime minister so he must take all the blame — just like Najib, the present prime minister, must take all the blame for whatever happens to Malaysia today.

Who, therefore, is at fault here?

Najib is both finance minister and prime minister. When something bad happens to Malaysia we blame Najib. But do we blame him because he is the prime minister or because he is the finance minister?