When interviewed, a bank manager said that many of the bank’s customers believe that the nation’s coffers are empty and that we will soon be in very dire straits.
While some of the bank’s customers believe that Malaysia will only really be in trouble in 2019, at least 50 think that trouble will come much sooner—possibly within the next few months—with domestic consumption projected to nosedive due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April, and with the price of fuel expected to rise.
The bank manager anticipates that the price of RON95 price will exceed RM2 in April or May, and during this time, the rakyat, especially those in the lower income group, will feel the pinch as GST will have been implemented by then.
The bank manager went so far as to say that Malaysia will be the Greece of Southeast Asia in the space of two months. He lamented the fact that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak seems to be in a deep slumber, despite the fact the country seems to sitting on an economic time bomb.
“Sixty days to destruction. We, the rakyat, can do nothing, and it seems neither can the government,” said the customer.
He added that the evidence of approaching doom can be seen in some major companies having their profits dip drastically or recording losses.
“When the government withdrew the fuel subsidies last year, we should have known that the economy was already in crisis, despite what the Prime Minister said. The foreign investors who left are not coming back, not while the ringgit is under intense pressure. This does not bode well for the economy,” he said.
The 1MDB crisis also points to an economy that is on its way down. One contentious issue is how it settled its RM2 billion loan with local banks.
“If the loan was settled by an individual, that is the worst because it indicates that the nation’s coffers are zero,” remarked the bank manager.
Even the many unrepaired potholes around Kuala Lumpur are an indicator of the state of the nation’s finances, he added. Garbage collection in his neighbourhood and other areas within the city has been reduced from thrice a week to twice a week since February.
The manager feels that the Prime Minister is not doing enough to repair the damaged state of the country’s economy.
“If PM Najib is not careful, 1Malaysia Development Berhad will soon become 1Malaysia Debt Bailout. Greece is a reality for Malaysians today,” he said.