8th September 2019
STOP THE NONSENSICAL CAMPAIGN TO BOYCOTT PRODUCTS
It appears that the tempo of ethno-religious politicking that has engulfed our nation for more than a year, orchestrated by irresponsible politicians and others, has now increased a pitch. From vociferous criticisms and demonstrations and even petition to the royalties, it has now descended to calling for a boycott of non-Muslim made products in the country.
Of course the campaign calling for products boycott is bound to fail and its repercussions will be disastrous. Such call is nonsensical, irrational, idiotic, disruptive, and threatens to hinder progress economically. Our PH leadership has not done enough to stem this nonsense. Cabinet members seem to be waiting for the Prime Minister’s cue to act. It is either they do not have a mind of their own or are unprincipled enough.
Patriot has said it before, and we reiterate now. We must all think as Malaysians. It does not matter if a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Dayak, or even an Orang Asli is rich and awarded with contracts. What is most important is that rich Malaysian tycoons and those awarded the contracts use their wealth to general more economic activities and it will definitely create more jobs opportunities for our country. It is the aggregate of the per capita income that matters most. Of course equity of wealth distribution by ethnic and geographical composition is important too. This is for the ingenuity of our officials to sort out in the best manner and not pander to divisive and obstructive ethno-religious politicking.
Economic issues should take centre stage in our national discourse. India, the biggest buyer of our palm oil, has now decided to increase an additional 5% levy, from 45 to 50% on their refined palm oil import from our country. That is certain to affect our export. Our local small holders’ livelihood where a large portion is Malay-Muslim, will be affected.
On poverty rate, it has been suggested by a UN expert that the rate should be around 16 to 20% and not the current officially recognised 0.4% rate. If true, then this has serious implications on our socio-economic policies and their implementation. All should be concerned on these prevailing economic issues.
There are many more economic issues of concern. Although our official unemployment rate remains at 3.3%, individual monthly earning is gradually declining. Unemployment rate for those aged between 15 to 24 years remains high, at 10.4%. Household debt remains high, at 83% of the GDP. Our ringgit is weakening against the US dollar and therefore leads to imported inflation. The list can go on. Our politicians must stop hallucinating on race and religious issues.
Patriot calls on all those responsible for advocating the boycott on non-Muslim products to stop this irresponsible campaign immediately.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan