“Dissolve ineffective, incompetent anti-inflation task force,” Guan Eng tells PM

DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve the “ineffective, incompetent and irrelevant” anti-inflation task force that was set up to stem rising prices.

This is following Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) decision to hike up its overnight policy rate (OPR) for the third time in the row this year by 25 basis points from 2.25% to 2.50%, principally to stem inflation.

“BNM sees the inflation as still sufficiently serious enough to warrant hiking up the OPR despite the inherent risks in sacrificing economic growth and COVID-19 recovery efforts for the second half of the year, and increasing borrowing costs for individuals and businesses,” the former finance minister remarked.

“BNM has indirectly dismissed Annuar’s anti-inflation efforts as of no consequence with the consumer price index (CPI) rising by 4.4% in July compared to 3.4% in June 2022, the month Tan Sri Annuar Musa was appointed the task force’s chairman.

“Since BNM is now relying on the monetary tool of raising interest rates to fight inflation, there is no need to retain the special committee to wage ‘jihad’ on inflation.”

The Bagan MP further noted that the task force will only have a role to play if it is chaired by the Prime Minister himself.

The six-member anti-inflation task force is chaired by Annuar who is the Communications and Multimedia minister.

The members of the committee are Finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Agriculture and Food Industries minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, Economic Affairs minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

Bank Negara

Yesterday Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the central bank’s overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2.50%.

In a statement announcing the OPR hike, BNM said the global economy continues to expand, albeit at a slower pace, weighed down by rising cost pressures, tighter global financial conditions and strict containment measures in China.

Global growth also continues to be supported by improvements in labour market conditions and the full reopening of most economies and international borders.

The OPR increase – the central bank’s third consecutive rate hike this year – was forecasted by economists and financial services company Moody’s Analytics earlier this week. – Sept 9, 2022


Main pic credit: The Straits Times

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE