PETALING JAYA, March 6 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) today demanded Datuk Seri Najib Razak relinquish his post as finance minister, claiming that him also being prime minister was a clear “conflict of interest”.
“In a corporate structure, this is like a person juggling the post of chief executive officer and chief financial officer,” PAS research chief Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told reporters here.
The PR lawmaker said that on top of being PM and Finance Minister, Najib was also Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno chief, and that this left him “too preoccupied” to devote his attentions on proper economic policies for Malaysia.
“With the present arrangement, it is no surprise that the federal budgets for the past few years have focused more on one-off goodies to appease voters instead of implementing structural changes to our economic structure that it badly needs,” said Dzulkefly.
He pointed out that even former finance minister Tun Zaim Zainuddin told China Press in a recent interview that the PM “has too much on his plate to be handling the Finance Ministry as well.”
Also present with Dzulkefly were PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli and DAP international secretary Liew Chin Tong. All three stressed that Malaysia needed a single full-time finance minister who could carry out duties without distractions or complications.
“His performance as finance minister has been disappointing thus far. He has backtracked on a lot of issues like the six per cent service tax, the real property gains tax (RPGT) and the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC),” added Dzulkefly.