Analysts say Anwar taking on too much with finance post

Analysts say Anwar taking on too much with finance post

Analysts say Anwar taking on too much with finance post
Anwar Ibrahim may have bitten off more than he can chew, managing a difficult unity government and the country’s finances, say economists. (Bernama pic)

However, the announcement that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim would also helm the finance ministry is seen as underwhelming by several economists and analysts.

“Anwar may have taken too heavy a burden on himself, having to manage a difficult unity government and the country’s finances,” said Carmelo Ferlito from the Center for Market Education.

“He doesn’t even have a second finance minister (to assist him),” Ferlito, an economist, told FMT Business.

He also said it was “disappointing not to see Johari Ghani in the Cabinet”. Johari, of Umno, was elected MP for Titiwangsa in the general election, representing Barisan Nasional. He was a former second finance minister in Najib Razak’s government.

“He was probably the best card that BN had to spend, the person with the deeper understanding of the economy,” Ferlito added.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, concurred that Johari should have been appointed finance minister.

He was also perplexed about Anwar appointing himself as finance minister. “I thought Pakatan Harapan wanted to separate the two posts, but it seems consolidation of power is more important for Anwar,” Oh told FMT Business.


He also wondered why former finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz was included in the Cabinet. “Anwar must have seen unusual ability in him,” Oh said.

Ferlito said the appointment of Tengku Zafrul as international trade and industry minister was not in line with the radical change of policy that is needed.

“He has been a protagonist in the past two Cabinets,” Ferlito said. “Given his stint as finance minister, I struggle to see his added value in a ministry like Miti. This is a crucial position given the investment ecosystem deterioration that happened over the past three years. I guess now only time will tell.”

R Rajah, professor of economics at the Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya, opined that this looks like “a compromise Cabinet”.

“Anwar does not have the autonomy to name his actual Cabinet. Hence, Tengku Zafrul’s portfolio does not say much about his knowledge regarding the ministry he has been chosen to helm.”

Rajah said the new Cabinet looks like the best team now given the political environment. “I hope the Cabinet will recognise the politically charged environment we are in to push through reforms targeted at building Malaysia.”

Yeah Kim Leng of Sunway University, said Tengku Zafrul’s previous stint as finance minister was an added advantage in his new portfolio and the ministry would benefit from his familiarity with fiscal and financial issues facing Malaysian industries which had an extensive involvement in international trade and investment.

However, he said Tengku Zafrul faces a steeper learning curve in steering the industries to cope with the challenges and opportunities presented by the two more recent free trade agreements – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.


Waktu terbaik dakwa Zeti dan Nazlan.

Analysts say Anwar taking on too much with finance post




Waktu terbaik dakwa Zeti dan Nazlan.


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