Covid-19 is bad because Malaysia is “Kerajaan Gagal”, says Najib’s brother

(FMT) – Malaysia’s poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic is due to deep-rooted, systemic weaknesses and the impact would have been just as bad regardless of which administration was in power, Nazir Razak said today.

In a speech at the Malaysian Institute of Management, the former CIMB chief executive officer and chairman warned that Malaysia would fall short of reaching its potential as a nation if these “structural weaknesses” are not addressed.

“Malaysia entered the (Covid-19) crisis with endemic corruption, political instability, slow economic growth, high talent outflow and persistent inter-communal tensions.”

These long-running issues, he said, set the stage for poor political decision-making, weak government finances and economic vulnerabilities.

“Whether it was PH (Pakatan Harapan), PN (Perikatan Nasional) or BN (Barisan Nasional) in power, Malaysians would still have suffered more in terms of healthcare and the economy compared with other countries.”

As evidence of Malaysia’s poor handling of the pandemic, he said, for instance, that China with a population of 1.4 billion lost fewer than 5,000 people to Covid-19 while Malaysia, with a population of only 32 million, had lost over 30,000 people.

He noted that Malaysia was ranked 51st out of 53 countries in Bloomberg’s Covid-19 resilience ranking, which combines deaths with overall handling of the pandemic.

Nazir, the brother of former prime minister Najib Razak, said the Sabah state elections, weak enforcement of movement control orders, double standards favouring politicians, the inability to change individuals in key leadership positions, and the limit to government finances due to years of excessive spending and leakages were major contributing factors.

He again called for a national reset through a holistic overhaul of democracy, institutions and social economy.

“Success belongs to those who seize the initiative, first and foremost by ensuring domestic socio-political strength and economic dynamism.”