Daim: We want to be upfront about the economy


KUALA LUMPUR: The government will be truthful and will not hide anything from investors and rating agencies when it comes to the actual position of the country's economy.

Council of Eminent Persons chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin said this was because the government does not want any more corrupt practices to occur and that it intends to implement changes towards that effort.

He said all the recent exposes that were made by the government received differing responses among investors, and these investors have asked the government to cover-up corruption issues which had been exposed.

"But today's government is willing to be honest. It no longer wants to have corruption and it wants to implement change. But why do these quarters do not want such a thing? When in reality they keep saying that corruption is bad?

"When we are wholeheartedly fighting corruption, they say, do not tell (anyone), keep this information to yourself...secret. That is double standard. If you want transparency, we will continue (with it).

"This government will forever not (want) to have any more corruption. We will implement change and separation of powers between the Attorney-General and the courts. They will (work) independently of each other, so the people believe that when they lodge a complaint, fair action will be taken.

"That is important and that is what we want. In the end, the government wants justice and change. We also want for parliament to be independent so that elected representatives can have their voices heard. The media must be free and the people must be free," Daim said in TV3's Soal Rakyat last night, which was conducted by Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and Mustapha Kamil Mohd Janor.

Daim, who is a former finance minister said that he had successfully convinced investors after explaining the actual state of the country's economy to them.

He said that when rating agencies met with him, he had asked them if they wanted the government to lie? He had also told them that the government could lie if that was what they wanted.

"But it is better to be honest as it will help them them to make considerations and help other quarters when they decide on whether they want to invest in Malaysia or not.

“If (investors) come to this country, everything is transparent. We do not want to hide (things) and have them being shocked (with the exposes) later on.

"Right now the Prime Minister wants to go to the United States and England. They want to see him (Prime Minister) and hear about the changes and other things that the government wants to do," he said. Additional reporting by VEENA BABULAL, SYED UMAR ARIF, ESTHER LANDAU, MOHD ANWAR PATHO ROHMAN, MOHD ISKANDAR IBRAHIM, SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN, HAZWAN FAISAL MOHAMAD and AHMAD SUHAEL ADNAN © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd