Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has dismissed a report by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), which claims that Malaysia is veering towards instability, as “nonsensical.”
Muhyiddin said the report appeared to be part of a hidden agenda to destabilise the country.
“It has obvious ulterior motives and we do not need comments from those who know nothing about the country. They must be talking through their nose.
Muhyiddin's immediate response to the PERC's report is equally nonsensical. It appears that Muhyiddin know less about Malaysians than the PERC's consultants. What is so elusive about Malaysia?
The government that Muhyiddin represents should respond more intelligently by correcting details and allegations in the report. There is no ulterior motive. Malaysia is not even a regional powerhouse which is worth undermining unlike China, Japan or India.
However, the PERC report will be used by investors as a guide to prioritise their investment. Muhyiddin's wild criticism of PERC will not undermine its credibility but his less than intelligent respond, bordering name calling, will hurt Malaysia's reputation as an emerging knowledge economy.
“The fact is that Malaysians are happy and are not facing any major disaster and there is no racial trouble or war among us,” Muhyiddin told a press conference.
The report did not claim that there is an ethnic war in Malaysia. The fact is an armed ethnic conflict is not a probable reality. Reasons: the armed forces are dominated mostly by a single ethnic, Malaysians who are frustrated with growing racism are leaving instead of fighting and ethnic threats are only coming from a small group of elite minorities.
How is Muhyiddin so sure that Malaysians are happy especially with a mediocre economy which does not create enough opportunities, growing inflation, deteriorating public institutions and separation of power and a country continue to bleed talents and investment?
PERC's report claimed that a group of elite minorities were dominating the national agenda to the extent that it was hurting Malaysia’s attractiveness to investors. Is this statement not accurate? Perkasa and a handful of other racial and religious NGOs are dictating social development in the country. Unfortunately, these organisations know more about threats than dialogue.
Among the developments that caught its attention were the theft of military jet engines; the detention of terror suspects from a number of African and Middle East countries following warnings that Islamic militants were planning attacks on foreigners at resorts in Sabah; renewed ethnic and religious violence that included arson at some churches and desecration of mosques; and controversy over the integrity of key institutions like the judicial system.
The government should respond by taking a firmer action on political corruption e.g. PKFZ and the AG's report, worsening inter-ethnic relations, religious spats and others. It should send a thank you card to PERC for being a sounding board to Malaysia's growing pains.
We should we listen to? Muhyiddin or PERC?