The media could be wrong but why did the government take more than two weeks to point out the mistakes? The PM, I believe, has a team of 'great economists' and so-called 'media advisers' who should be responsive enough to correct it the moment such 'errors' occur.
This is what The Star and some newspapers reported on November 26. (The Star retracted it a day later but some did not):
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has a stark choice of either increasing government revenue via the goods and services tax (GST) or burdening the country by borrowing more money.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the implementation of GST was necessary as the country risked becoming bankrupt like Greece if it resorted to borrowing.
“We have to find additional sources of income and that’s why we have to implement the GST,” he said at a seminar on Strengthening the National Economy.
He said rating agency Moody’s Investors Service changed their outlook on Malaysia from neutral to positive just weeks after the GST was announced.
“This is because they know Malaysia was taking fiscal consolidation steps which are unpopular but necessary for the good of the country,” he said.
However today, Mr PM corrected 'what is supposed to be corrected on the day of misreporting' - accusing the newspapers that caused trouble.
Correcting 'misreporting' is not unusual but a late one will raise a lot of questions, especially on the capability and integrity of a leader's senior aides.PUTRAJAYA, Dec 9 — Excess spending without raising tax revenue could send Malaysia down Greece’s path, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today when clarifying previous remarks on the country’s need for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Dismissing reports that he said the country faced bankruptcy without the new tax, Najib said that GST was just one of several methods available to the government to increase its revenue collection, as his administration works towards paring down the country’s fiscal deficit.
“I did not say that, without GST, the country would go bankrupt. It’s the newspapers that caused trouble... this is what you call the hazards of being a politician,” he said at an appreciation luncheon with the Retired Senior Civil Servants Umno Club here.
“What I said was that if we keep spending and spending, and we do not collect on taxes, then we will end up like Greece,” he added.
People appointed to assist and advise him must act fast, there and then whenever such a 'misreporting' takes place, instead of buying time.
That's the problem with some senior aides. They always think they are the best for being chosen to serve a prime minister but sorry to say, they are very slow and 'lembab!'
Do they (the advisers) really read newspapers... or makan gaji buta?