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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PM slams opposition leader’s MH370 boast

Published: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 8:23:35 AM

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has taken to task an opposition leader who claimed that he could solve the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 “in a second” if he were in power.

Without naming the leader, Najib said it was ludicrous for him to make such a claim when a multi-nation effort had yet to locate the missing jetliner.

“The remark by the opposition leader is illogical and it makes Malaysians in general look foolish,” Najib said at the monthly meeting of the Finance Ministry here yesterday.

He said the search for Flight MH370 needed the support of countries within and outside the region due to the complexity and its unprecedented challenges.

On April 5, a Chinese newspaper published an interview by the Southern Weeklymagazine with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which quoted him as saying that if he were the Prime Minister, he would take only one second to solve the issue of the missing MH370.

Anwar had also criticised the Government’s effort and accused it of cover-ups in his interviews with other foreign media agencies, including CNN, following the plane’s disappearance.

Flight MH370 with 239 people took off on March 8 from the KL International Airport at 12.41am for Beijing and went off the radar screens an hour later while flying over the South China Sea.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, told ministry staff not to be swayed by populist policies but stay on track with the current economic transformation plans.

These, he said included policies related to fiscal consolidation, subsidy rationalisation, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is expected to be introduced next year.

While stressing that the GST would ensure the country’s economic health, Najib said the Government would also look into the well-being of the rakyat by monitoring and curbing unreasonable price hikes in consumer goods.

Admitting that there could be some form of price increases following the introduction of the GST, Najib said he believed the hike would be “one-off” and that there would be steps to reduce the people’s burden.

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