PETALING JAYA: It is worrying that stocks, bonds and ringgit are under pressure, one year after Pakatan Harapan (PH) rose to power, says Gerakan national president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai.
He said the honeymoon was over, and the government still didn't seem to have a plan to drive the economy forward after a year in power.
Lau said he was concerned that global funds were bypassing the country in favour of other markets, with Bloomberg reporting that Malaysian stocks recorded outflows in all but two of the past 12 months.
In addition, the ringgit is among Asia’s worst performers over the past year, and bonds may encounter another sell-off.
Investor sentiments had swung from euphoric to frustration after the Pakatan government pushed to cut public debt, and this had weighed on consumption and growth, he said.
According to Lau, many of Pakatan's policies were being questioned and criticised for weakening the country’s economy, instead of strengthening it. Among them were the reintroduction of SST, the scrapping of large infrastructure projects, the hard-line stance on China, the plan to reintroduce Bumiputera shareholding quota, public spending cut and regulatory restrictions.
He added that in recent months, the government had been making U-turns to revive some large projects, such as ECRL and Bandar Malaysia, while Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) recently cut its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 3% for the first time since July 2016.
“These were attempts by the government to mend its policy failure and mistakes without openly admitting it, but it is noteworthy that public satisfaction in the government's management of the economy also fell to 40%, compared with 60% previously, according to a poll by Merdeka Centre earlier in March,” he said.
“I call on the PH government to stop giving excuses by blaming the previous administration.
"It is clear that the economy is not improving under Pakatan, and its policies are to blame. It is time Pakatan focus more on advancing the economy with good planning. Its honeymoon is over,” he said.