Malaysia is doing much better than many other countries – Najib

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World Football Champions Spain recently suffered the humiliation of being eliminated from the Olympics without scoring a goal. Now they have a friendly dig from our PM to contend with.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak reminded the rakyat that while Malaysia loses at football it doesn’t have to contend with unemployment rates of up to 45 per cent – which is Spain’s rate for youth unemployment.

“Spain might be reigning Euro Cup champions, but despite losing on the football pitch, we are champions in economic administration,” he said.

Najib then used the opportunity to say what others are saying about us, from the IMF to the World Bank – Malaysia is a gold medal winner on the world economic stage. In fact, as Najib said, Malaysia is doing much much better than many other countries, and is on a solid growth track.

“The projections are for all to see as to what we expect to achieve this year,” he said, and so are the rewards. He said more funds were available to bring the benefits of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).

Given the setting of a Mosque during Ramadan, he continued on his social justice theme saying the philosophy and approach used by his Government to develop the economy are better than western theories because they are based on the spirit of the Quran and the Sunnah.

“That’s why when we uphold the principle of social justice, we can see our economy registers good growth and we also make sure that the majority of the people are being championed,” he said.

On show on Thursday night was a very different Najib Razak. Normally he leaves it to others to sing the praises of the Malaysian economy which is what ratings agency Fitch did this week when it confirmed our A- credit rating and gave the thumbs up to Najib’s “structural reform plan for the economy”.

Najib also normally leaves it to the International Monetary Fund to praise the Economic Transformation Programme and the Government’s management of debt.

And he lets the Wall Street Journal hail “IPO powerhouse” Malaysia which also expressed fears about what will happen to the economy should a Pakatan Government take over.

But on Thursday night, given the themes of social justice, the PM was more forthcoming in speaking of our nation’s achievements.

“The projections are for all to see as to what we expect to achieve this year,” he said.

Taking aim at those who want to fight the Government on the street he added: “Now I hear of requests for a second BR1M. If they (Pakatan Rakyat) can do Bersih 1, Bersih 2, we can have BR1M 1, BR1M 2 should we have ‘rezeki’ (sustenance). It is more meaningful that rioting on the streets.”

This is strong stuff for Najib but it shows he is in touch with the rakyat. What he knows to be true – and what was confirmed in his recent 1Malaysia online forum – is that the people really do value the assistance given by the Government.

Less obvious perhaps, is just how important the solid economic foundations of our nation are in allowing the Government to offer that assistance.

Thursday night was a chance for him to articulate that more explicitly than he has in recent times.

He also spoke of the recent Bursa Malaysia listings – again usually praise that comes from the foreign media- and explained how something that might seem remote to a poor settler could be so relevant to all our futures.

While the Opposition huffs and puffs at the periphery of economic matters such as PTPTN and the proposal to cut vehicle excise that defies basic arithmetic, the PM has in the past been thought of as being too understated about our achievements.

Could we now be seeing a more pugilistic Najib taking on Anwar Ibrahim as we head towards GE13?

If so, get Anwar the smelling salts. This might not be pretty. – The Choice