The government must reform on many fronts and not paint a rosy picture for TN50 take off, says Lin See-Yan

PETALING JAYA: The government should be in the business of administrating the country and not competing with the private sector, said former Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Lin See-Yan.

“First, reform for the government. Do what you say you would do.

“The role of the government is to facilitate, not compete with private sector.”

He said this during a forum entitled ‘TN50: The Road Ahead’ which was held at Sunway University.

TN50 is the acronym for national transformation policy under Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration which aims to develop the nation holistically by 2050 via consultation with the public.

Lin also urged the government to carry out total educational reforms as the nation needed local talent.

“Second education. We will need real reforms from kindergarten to university. We need the local talents and technicalities.”

He also suggested that Malaysia retain its local labour instead of relying on cheap labour from foreign countries.

“Move away from cheap labour. Retain university graduates and grow the industries,” said Lin in response to a question from the floor.

Earlier, in his presentation, Lin, who is also Sunway University’s research professor, explained that the reality on the ground for TN50 to take off was in contrast to the picture that the government depicted.

“The real growth has lost its edge. High growth is sugar coated. It masked signs of fatigue (economy).

“There is a huge disconnect between government statistics and the experience on the street.”

He also criticised the World Bank’s prediction that Malaysia would have a 5.5% growth rate.

“The retailers in Mid Valley don’t see the 5.5% growth even though there are 250 businesses waiting to take up shops.

“The retailer association’s surveys show that the retail sales are down.”

He blamed it on the loss of purchasing power which is contributed by a weakened ringgit.

“Everything we have is imported. We are paying the price of a weak currency.

“If people say the economy is strong, why is the currency weak? Why is there no FDI?” he said in reference to the foreign direct investment.

“Why is the youth unemployment rate so high?”

Lin also predicted a global recession to take place in the next 18 months due to unemployment rates in US hovering at four percent.

“When potential unemployment percentage exceeds real unemployment percentage, it leads to recession. It happened thrice previously in the US.

“The bubble blows up when the rate is four percent. Last year it was below four percent in the US.”