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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 10 — Malaysia is stable politically and the transfer of leadership in the government will be just as orderly, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng emphasised today after a market research report yesterday that suggested otherwise.
Lim said recent political developments domestically showed Malaysia is politically stable and that the ruling Pakatan Harapan is the only political coalition that can represent all Malaysians currently.
“Any change in leadership as agreed beforehand will be done orderly within legal and democratic norms.
“Malaysia is a democracy and debates are part of robust democratic culture. These debates do not distract the government from implementing its planned and scheduled reforms,” he told a news conference at the Finance Ministry here.
Lim was responding to a report yesterday by Nomura Global Markets Research which downgraded Malaysian equities, over concern about political instability in the country.
Financial daily The Edge had carried the Nomura report that alluded to political risks with discontent over political defections and the news outlets’ obsessive focus on the timeframe for the handover of the prime minister post.
“(These) seem to be unnerving some investors as it takes the government’s focus away from delivering on the reform agenda,” Nomura was quoted as saying.
After Barisan Nasional’s shock defeat in the May 2018 elections, Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over Putrajaya under the leadership of coalition chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.
Since becoming prime minister, Dr Mahathir has repeatedly stressed that he would honour his promise to pass on the position to PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as agreed among PH leaders prior to the elections.
Earlier this month, PH secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the coalition had not set a timeframe for the handing over of the position as Dr Mahathir and Anwar would know best when it should be done.
Dr Mahathir has himself previously given a timeframe of around two years before passing on the baton to Anwar who is now PKR president.
Sin Chew Daily recently reported Dr Mahathir as saying that he estimated the current PH government to have achieved 30 per cent to 40 per cent of its efforts in addressing the problems left by the previous administration, adding that the most difficult parts had been tackled.