Only Najib and BN can continue this vital process – financial experts agree on this

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Good news for international investors who have put their faith in Malaysia’s continued growth and prosperity. The Economist Corporate Network has forecast that Barisan Nasional will win GE13 and be able to continue the reform agenda and sound economic management that has been widely praised by international experts.

In an address tellingly entitled Weak World, Strong Malaysia, the ECN’s Justin Wood said after GE13, “The Barisan Nasional will still be in power. There might be a reduced majority but I foresee the same government after this general election, which is the toughest in Malaysia’s history”.

“If the current Government remains, the clarity will be there,” he said in a nod to hesitant investors.

This may further provide some comfort to those global financial experts who have expressed fears about what will happen if Pakatan Rakyat wins GE13. In July the Wall Street Journal bluntly said: “Investors must hope that agenda stays on track regardless of the outcome of an election.”

Wood has doubts about BN winning back the two-thirds majority, however, sees Datuk Seri Najib Razak returning as Prime Minister. This means both the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme will continue. But does that transformation agenda become more difficult to implement for him?

The opportunistic Opposition media thinks so, especially those outlets that like to write headlines that damn Najib and BN even if they talk down the fortunes of our nation in the process. The Malaysia Insider headlined the story as “BN in for bruising but will prevail…” conveniently overlooking some important facts.

Firstly, Najib has spent his entire tenure as PM working with a reduced majority following BN’s loss of its two-thirds margin at GE12 (in most democracies, parties would relish a simple majority). But it hasn’t stopped him delivering the most landmark reforms in history. This includes political reforms such as the repeal of the ISA and the Sedition Act.

And it also hasn’t stopped him freeing up the economy and creating jobs through the ETP. At every turn obstructionist Opposition MPs have tried to talk down its success but still, last year the programme created 313,000 new jobs.

Despite the wishful headlines of the Opposition media, Wood’s assessment of the GE13 outcome contains only crumbs of comfort for Pakatan Rakyat. And worse still for the Opposition, his assessment of the economy leaves it nowhere to hide.

He has forecast that our economy will grow at an annual average rate of 5.5 per cent from next year until 2016. This is a breath-taking forecast given that only last week our 2012 growth prospects were revised upwards to five percent.

Having an outsider offer such a frank insight into the outcome of GE13 is both helpful and thought-provoking. Yes, anyone who wants to see our nation grow and prosper will be relieved to hear an international expert declare that a win for Najib’s BN is positive not only for the country’s continued transformation into a fully developed nation but also foreign investors.

Yet it is also a timely warning. Voters might be tempted to use GE13 as a protest vote against BN, perhaps over some local or minor issue.

They might also be swayed by some of the fear mongering of Pakatan Rakyat, from Lynas to crime (on the economy they have given up by now).

But these reactions would be a mistake. We are only halfway through transforming this nation. It would be foolish to jeopardise our economic miracle now.

Only Najib and BN can continue this vital process – financial experts agree on this. – The Choice