Written by Stan Lee, Politics Now!
KUALA LUMPUR (Politics Now!) – Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, long perceived as an ineffective and incompetent leader, good only at oratory but prone to creating disorganized messes wherever and whatever he touches, is certainly confirming these negative views with his indecisive behavior over the appointment of a new minister badly needed to manage Malaysia’s severe inflation problems.
Political analysts and pundits who earlier on had called for patience are now just as fed up as a long-suffering public, forced to endure skyrocketing food, fuel and retail price as the Malaysian ringgit keeps breaching one 25-year-low after another.
“If a replacement for Salahuddin Ayob (the late domestic trade and cost of living minister) is not found immediately, the people will feel the prime minister is not serious about handling the issue of living costs, which is a public issue,” analyst Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia was reported as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
AS ANWAR PLAYS ‘MUSLIM HERO’ – SINGLE MOM OF 5 HAS TO STARVE
A shock video of how a single mother has to go without food for days as she struggles to raise 5 children has also sparked public furore.
The 28-year-old B Muggnisuari caused many a teary eye as she told of how there were days that she and her kids aged between 4 to 9 had to starve.
“You can’t blame people for being angry and asking where is Anwar, what the hell is he doing,” a political commentator told Politics Now!
“This is a still struggling nation, it needs a good prime minister. This is not the Oscar awards presentation, we don’t need an actor.”
EVEN MILD-MANNERED ISMAIL SABRI CRITICIZES ANWAR
Mum goes days without food as she struggles to raise 5 kids pic.twitter.com/6BfYEOuS0C
— Free Malaysia Today (@fmtoday) October 24, 2023
Even Anwar’s immediate predecessor, former prime minister Ismail Sabri, criticized his underwhelming performance.
“The ringgit continues to weaken, reaching its worst performance in 25 years,” Ismail told Parliament on Tuesday.
“The Bursa Malaysia index remains at around 1,400 points. Both of these indicators show that Malaysia is facing a very serious investor confidence crisis.”
CABINET RESHUFFLE TO REMOVE ‘DEADWOOD’ BADLY NEEDED
Ex-prime minister Ismail Sabri
There was no immediate response from Anwar, who has been on a working visit to the Middle East, where he has been accused of portraying himself as a ‘Muslim hero’ over the Hamas-Israeli war.
Earlier this month, he had announced the country’s largest-ever spending plan but the Budget 2024 was widely panned with critics, who questioned how such record-sized spending was possible when it was accompanied by so few tangible projects.
Also extremely unpopular with the populace was Anwar jacking up the sales tax by 2 percentage points to 8%, while removing long-standing indirect subsidies on chicken, egg and rice prices.
Other political observers have called on Anwar to reshuffle his Cabinet and remove the “deadwood”.
“This is also the best time for Anwar to do the reshuffle as there is a lot of noise against Anwar now,” said analyst Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara, referring to criticisms that Anwar does not know how to minimise the people’s everyday struggles.
The domestic trade and cost of living ministry, regarded as a critical one, has been vacant since the death of its minister Salahuddin Ayob some months ago.
Opposition politicians in the country have also been taking Anwar to task. Many such as Bersatu’s Dr Afif Bahardin believe that a Cabinet reshuffle would do no good as the main problem was Anwar himself. – Written by Stan Lee, Politics Now!