Uncertainty hurts business


Photo: Filepic/The Star

NEVER in the history of Malaysian politics has there been so much uncertainty after a general election. At the time of writing this letter, it’s almost four days after the 15th General Election (GE15) on Nov 19 and the lack of a prime minister candidate persists. Even after GE14 in 2018, when Barisan Nasional was toppled for the first time in 61 years, the PM candidate was swiftly announced and sworn in.

The uncertainty over the PM is sending jitters through the business community. On Monday, the first day Bursa Malaysia re-opened after GE15, some RM7.32bil was wiped off market capitalisation from the bourse. The anxiety in the business community is real.

If the impasse prolongs, we may witness further capital flight, which is unfortunate at a time when the country has only just started getting back on its feet after being battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. It doesn’t help that the government has projected a challenging 2023 due to an anticipated global economic slowdown owing to the prolonged war in Ukraine and disruption in global supply chains.

As someone who has a humble portfolio in the Malaysian stock market and dabbles in small-time businesses, I am alarmed and worried. I hope to see a resolution soon. This is why I implore all parties to set aside their self-interest and prioritise the national agenda. In this respect, let’s uphold the law and the Federal Constitution. Whichever party or coalition that meets the requirements to form the new government should be allowed to do so. If the coalition has the backing of more than 112 MPs, that’d be great. Otherwise the leader who has the most support of MPs should be sworn in as soon as possible, even if this means forming a minority government. The law is the law, whether we like it or not.

I remember that one of the main reasons we conducted the general election is because we wanted an end to political uncertainty. But now that GE15 is done and dusted, we are no better off than before, if not worse.

The political elites may not feel the hardship the business community or the general masses go through due to political uncertainty. But on the ground, we are feeling the pain. So let’s put aside our differences and uphold the Constitution and the law and get on with the appointment of the PM.

WONG KYE JUN

Setapak, Kuala Lumpur

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