Pakatan still has more than 3 years to recover, says Guan Eng

(The Sun Daily) – Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has downplayed claims by a number of Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders that the ruling government would lose if a general election was held today.

He pointed out that the coalition still have over three years to rule before the 15th General Election is called, and that it already has a plan in place to turn the country’s economy around.

“When you look at the election prospects, it all works in cycles. So we should accept that we still have time,” he said at the National Economic Forum, here, today.

“I mentioned about us having a three-year plan to turn the economy around, we still have time. I think, let’s wait and see. Because we have five years, so we wait and see,” he added.

Yesterday, in a forum, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chief strategist Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff said PH would lose federal power if the general election was called now, claiming that the euphoria present last year has died down, and with it, came a democratic backlash over various concerns.

He said these concerns included the issue of unemployment, cost of living and skewed priorities that affect the Malay-Muslims in particular.

Earlier today, two other PH leaders — DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago and PKR’s Subang MP Wong Chen — were quoted as agreeing with the assessment made by Rais, claiming the coalition has failed to keep to its promises and to carry out fundamental reforms.

On Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz’s call for a crisis management team to be established by the government to take pre-emptive measures and weather the forecasted economic headwinds, Lim said this was not necessary.

“I think if there is a crisis, then I think we will come to it. But for now, we already have the National Economic Action Council (NEAC),” he said.

Rafidah, who is a member of the NEAC herself, had said that proactive actions like setting up the crisis management team should be taken to counter any slowdown driven by external factors.

“There are economic disputes, even political disputes. Countries will be affected directly and indirectly. There’s no doubt about that. We should think ahead,” she had said.

To this, Lim said what the government could do at the moment was to try and mitigate the effects of the economic slowdown and come up with some resolution.