By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah and S. Joan Santani
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia After a short and often acrimonious campaign, 14.94 million people will go to the polls dubbed as the most challenging general election in the Malaysian history tomorrow.
The voters need to make the right choice in choosing a government that is able to contribute towards economic growth and provide best opportunities to the people.
Despite the opposition campaigns drawing large crowd, it may not reflect the outcome of the 14th general election as the people could judge for themselves the impeccable track record of the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) government led by Najib Tun Razak.
Prof Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, Academic Dean, University of London, Thailand Centre, EMFSS Programmes Led by London School of Economics and Political Science, said: Malaysia is now at a very important juncture as it is going through a period that I have never seen like in the whole history.
You have one party governing, basically for so long, and that's continuity and stability, and you have a stream of prime ministers in the row from Umno and everything seems to be very smooth.
You have developed the country so well over the years and you are moving up very rapidly, he told Bernama News Channel in an interview here recently.
Kriengsak, who is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard University, was asked to comment on the general election where BN is facing an onslaught from opposition pact Pakatan Harapan led by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Sharing his observation on Dr Mahathir, Kriengsak said: You know he is a very strong person, by observing and meeting him over the last many years when he was prime minister. I guess age takes a toll on people no doubt, no matter who.
Describing the scenario as an interesting juncture Malaysia is going through, he said: After the election results (are known), we are going to see what would become of Malaysia after this challenge.
On Najib, Kriengsak said: Najib is a person of calibre and is being so well groomed into this position. Surely, it is going to be a very interesting fight.
Citing personal, party and national situation as the winning factors, he said the issues at hand were a cause for concern for the people.
If Najib, who is leading Malaysia up until this hour, and the whole of Malaysia and Umno are still behind him, I give him the credit that he must have done something right in the hearts of some of his comrades to allow him to lead Malaysia and his party his way.
Therefore, give him the benefit of knowing that he must be the best choice for his party, he said.
Reminding the voters, Kriengsak said: Stability is very important both economical and politically everywhere. If you have a politically stability background, it is conducive for economic development.
If you don't have political stability, investors maybe wondering whether they are risking too much. Therefore, stability is a good word.
(As far as) economic stability (is concerned), you already handled it well technically, you don't really have big inflation, you have healthy economic figures, political stability that everyone wished for, he said.
On investment inflows from China, which has become the target of an intense vilification campaign by the opposition, Kriengsak said: It is a natural outcome of the growing influence of the world's second largest economy and it is still growing to become the largest economy soon, very soon."
If any country is deprived of Chinese investment, they would feel the impact, he said, adding that, Therefore, any country should welcome international investment, provided it is helpful for the people.
Meanwhile, US-based Override Labs Chief Executive Officer Jamiel Sheikh described Malaysia as an attractive foreign investment destination.
Malaysia continues to be an increasingly attractive investment environment. The upward GDP trajectory and level interest rates are a testament to strong economic planning and monetary policy, he said
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK