PETALING JAYA: A former aide of Muhyiddin Yassin has fired back at the prime minister’s political secretary for brushing off a study on Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s approval ratings, saying it was not the time to be in denial.
In a lengthy post, Marzuki Mohamad said Syed Fazmi Sayid Mohammad’s decision to cite both the low employment rate of 3.8% and inflation being under control when defending Ismail was “very dangerous”.
“It is bordering on denial syndrome which led to the defeat of Barisan Nasional (BN) in GE14.”
Marzuki went on to cite the department of statistics’ August figures which showed that inflation had climbed to 4.4% in July from 3.4% in June.
The food index, meanwhile, was at its highest at 6.9%, which contributed to the high food prices.
Marzuki said that the finance minister recently admitted that the country would be affected by the global economic slowdown, which is poised to worsen next year. The 8.9% growth achieved in the second quarter of this year, he added, would not likely be repeated in 2023.
He also said that Syed Fazmi should not be so obsessed with gross domestic product (GDP) figures when arguing that there had been economic growth under Ismail’s administration.
“People don’t eat GDP. They eat food on their table.”
He also said that Syed Fazmi might not comprehend “the logic of sampling” when the latter questioned the number of respondents interviewed for the Merdeka Center study.
According to the study, Muhyiddin enjoyed a 67% approval rating compared with Ismail’s 45%.
Syed Fazmi had said that the number of respondents surveyed did not reflect the sentiment of Malaysians in general. He pointed out that only some 2,000 to 3,000 were interviewed, while the country’s population stood at 32 million.
Marzuki said if he were the prime minister’s aide, he would vet the study by the research centre as well as the reports by the various agencies to get a better picture of the situation.
“And then I’ll go to the prime minister and tell him that we are in deep trouble. Now it’s not the time to be trapped in denial syndrome.”
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