Anwar calls for confidence vote against Perikatan in Parliament after Malaysia’s credit downgrade

Anwar said the confidence vote should be held immediately after debates on Budget 2021 end. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Anwar said the confidence vote should be held immediately after debates on Budget 2021 end. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today proposed a confidence vote to be tabled in Parliament against the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, questioning its ability to lead Malaysia competitively in a post-Covid economy.

The PKR president said the confidence motion was necessary after international credit rating agency Fitch lowered Malaysia’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating from A- to BBB+ last week.

While Malaysia was accorded a stable outlook, the ratings agency commented that the PN government’s thin two-seat parliamentary majority implies persistent uncertainty about the country’s future policies.

Anwar said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had failed to address these matters and accused the ex-banker of being “dismissive” of Fitch’s views instead.

“This is, of course, a concern and we have a statement to say the focus of the criticism and the valuation we face is on the issue of stability and governance and this was not addressed by the minister of finance.

“He was very dismissive. It is very unfortunate, very political in his remarks, lack of focus and professionalism on his part.

“So we think that this must be addressed because it affects the economy adversely and this calls for a vote of confidence on the government,” Anwar told reporters in Parliament today after the Dewan Rakyat sitting ended for the day.

The Port Dickson MP said the confidence vote should be held immediately after debates on Budget 2021 end.

“The government must seriously allow this and the Speaker must have the courage to respect Parliamentary procedures and demands,’’ he said.

He said that if the matter was not resolved, Malaysia’s credit ratings could decline further, impacting its economic prospects.

In its downgrade, Fitch said the revision was primarily driven by the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Malaysia’s fiscal position and the ongoing domestic political situation.

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