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29-Day Countdown to 13GE – Najib doth claim too much, that Malaysia is world’s fastest country in GNI per capita growth

I do not envy in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s shoes at present as he must continue to put up an external front of supreme confidence that he will not be the last Umno/Barisan Nasional Prime Minister and would even survive a coup d’etat in Umno ala-Abdullah Badawi after the 13GE while internally he must be quaking with gnawing doubts whether he could survive the final countdown for the “life-and-death” test for his political life.

As a result, he doth protest and claim too much.

Yesterday, the TV3 programme “Conversation with the PM” provided another example that the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia “doth claim too much” when he said:

“And when you talk in terms of benefit for the people, within three years, from 2009 to the end of 2011, our GNI (gross national income) per capita, it grew from US$6,670 to US$9,970. That’s roughly a 49 per cent (increase). There is no country in the world that has achieved that kind of result”.

Najib’s claim to be the fastest country in the world for GNI per capita growth in the three years from 2009 to 2011 is as believable as his other claim to transform Malaysia to be the world’s best democracy, when he could not even stand up to national and international scrutiny for the conduct of a free, fair and clean general elections despite his recent signature of the Transparency International-Malaysia’s Election Integrity Pledge. Instead, Najib is branded internationally as a “false democrat”.

Najib made two false claims in one short assertion last night – for Malaysia’s per capita GNI did not increase by 49 per cent in the three years from 2009 to 2011, and Malaysia is definitely not the world’s fastest country in per capita GNI growth in those three years.

The World Bank website shows the true numbers for Malaysia’s GNI per capita for the relevant period, viz:

2009—– US$7,550
2010—– US$8,090
2011——US$8,770

The link to the World Bank data is at :

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD/countries/MY-4E-XT?display=default

The numbers for per capita GNI cited by Najib are wholly inconsistent with the growth in GDP published and cited by the Government. The growth rates of the two (GNI and GDP) track each other closely. Thus the growth rate of 49% he cites is an impossibility and is not reflected in GDP growth.

From the World Bank data, per capita GNI from 2009 to 2011 increased by 16.15% and not 49% increase claimed by Najib with the empty boast of “No country in the world had achieved that kind of result”.

In fact, from quick look at the World Bank data, there are several countries, including at least three from ASEAN, which had chalked up a faster growth of their per capita GNI from 2009 to 2011, including:

Nation per capita GNI(US$) % of Increase
2009 2011
China 3,620 4,940 36.46%
Indonesia 2,160 2,940 36.1%
Singapore 36,030 42,930 19.15%
Botswana 6,270 7,470 19.14%
Thailand 3,730 4,440 19%
Philippines 1,870 2,210 18.18%

When Malaysia even lose out to Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia in terms of GNI per capita growth in the three years from 2009 to 2011, how can Najib go before a national television audience to thump his chest to claim to be the world’s fastest country in GNI per capita growth from 2009 to 2011?

As Finance Minister apart as Prime Minister (not to mention that he is also Woman Minister) and an economist by training, Najib should know better unless of course he is totally ignorant. Or perhaps he thinks the people can be fooled into believing the made up numbers.

Can Najib name countries which had achieved a phenomenal 49% increase over a two period in per capita GNI, which would indeed be a real world record.

Ironically, the only part of Najib’s statement that is true, is the last sentence!!

Najib said on television last night that before calling for the 13GE, he wants first to show to the people what had actually been achieved through various initiatives in his national transformation agenda.

How long more does Najib need to show to Malaysians that his plethora of antonyms and alphabet soup are not just empty soundbites but concrete policy transformations meaningful to the people?

If Najib cannot convince Malaysians after four years of premiership (he is three weeks short of four years as Malaysia’s longest unelected Prime Minister), what can the a few more weeks (45 days before automatic dissolution of Parliament on April 27) achieve to endear him to the Malaysian voters?

May be one single act which can do more than anything else to convince Malaysians about his political will and seriousness to effect major transformations in Malaysia is to ask the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, to spearhead the return of Mahathirism and to stop his doomsday scenarios but this is clearly asking for the impossible.

Najib has no confidence that his various transformation programmes will be his strongest selling point in the 13GE, which is why he is relying more and more on negative and divisive campaigning completely inimical to national interests including his own signature 1Malaysia Policy.

The next immediate test for Najib is whether he would dissolve Parliament before March 16, the date the Negri Sembilan State Assembly would stand automatically dissolved.

Will Najib rise up to the occasion or would he again flutter and fail?

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 13th March 2013