Kadir, the former editor-in-chief of the mainstream New Straits Times, has raised alarm about the deteriorating economic growth forecast for Malaysia. He noted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently projected a significant slowdown in Malaysia’s economic growth, estimating it to reach only 4.5% this year, a considerable drop from the previous year’s growth of 8.7%. The IMF also expects inflation to remain high at a rate of 3.3%.
Kadir justified his concerns by explaining that when economic growth is weak, it can lead to a natural decrease in inflation due to reduced consumer demand. However, he warned that if the decline continues unchecked, it could potentially result in harmful deflation for the country’s economy.
While acknowledging external factors that influence the economy, Kadir emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for economic performance lies with the government. He expressed his growing impatience with the current state of Malaysia’s economy, highlighting the depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit against the US dollar and the Singapore dollar as evidence of the economic challenges faced by the nation.
A netizen named Ma Hussin Musa defended Anwar by attributing the “chronic damage” to the Malaysian economy to the actions of UMNO over the course of 60 years, as well as the leadership of Tun M (22 years and 22 months), Najib (10 years), and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition (three years). In response, Kadir countered this perspective, stating that such an assessment oversimplifies the situation and is biased. He pointed out that there must have been positive contributions during those 60 years, and he also highlighted that the current Prime Minister had been part of the UMNO government for 16 years.
Netizen Tony George echoed Kadir’s concerns, suggesting that the policies implemented in the past are now causing negative consequences. Kadir agreed with this sentiment, noting that during his time in UMNO and the government, he led or claimed to lead initiatives related to the Islamic and Malay agendas.
As of August 28, 2023, Kadir’s vocal critique of Malaysia’s economic state and government’s role in it continues to spark discussions and reflections on the nation’s economic trajectory.