Why is Annuar leading panel to fight inflation, asks Wong Chen
By Ainin Wan Salley, Free Malaysia Today (1 July 2022) PETALING JAYA: Subang MP Wong Chen has criticised the government’s choice of a Cabinet minister to chair the special committee to fight inflation. He said no minister or ordinary politician was suitable for the job because the issue of inflation required a highly technical mind to handle it. “Economists and technocrats from Bank Negara Malaysia should be leading the nation’s fight against inflation,” he told FMT.
The person chairing the committee is communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa. Wong Chen said the committee would be a toothless replacement of the National Recovery Council chaired by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin unless it was given “some extraordinary powers and a big budget”. He said the establishment of the committee must make logical and economic sense for it to be useful.
“So far, I don’t think it’s useful. If that’s the case, then this is just political window dressing,” he said.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said the decision to appoint the committee had nothing to do with fighting inflation.
He told FMT he believed it had to do with a conflict in Umno. “Annuar’s appointment to head this committee is more about the prime minister looking for someone to spar with party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,” he said.
He said the public would not have confidence in the committee because it was made up of Cabinet ministers and the chief secretary to the government. The other ministers in the committee are finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, economic affairs minister Mustapa Mohamed, agriculture and food industries minister Ronald Kiandee and domestic trade and consumer affairs minister Alexander Nanta Linggi.
“The government is confused about the way forward and this committee shows that Putrajaya doesn’t have any sense of direction,” Santiago said.
“It’s poor decision making.”