“Is there a need to separate Finance Minister portfolio from PM to spur transparency, economic mgmt efficiency?

THE debate on separating the Finance Minister role from the Prime Minister (PM) has raised important questions about how the country’s financial decisions should be managed.

Proposed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, this issue has brought forth a perspective from Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli that seems somewhat misaligned with the norms and best practices at the global level.

The Pandan MP should not be intimidated by this suggestion but rather should embrace it as an opportunity to open broader discussions on effective economic governance.

In many developed countries, the separation of powers between the PM and the Finance Minister is considered a crucial step to ensure transparency and effectiveness in economic management.

This not only strengthens the system of checks and balances but also enhances investor confidence by providing clearer and more conflict-free governance.


With his extensive background in governance and politics, Muhyiddin who is also the Bersatu president brings to the table a perspective focused on the need for transparency and more systematic financial management.

Rooted in deep experience and understanding of governance, his proposal offers a way to reduce conflicts of interest and increase effectiveness in economic management.

The reform in the economic management system as proposed by Muhyiddin does not necessarily replace the role or diminish the importance of inter-ministerial cooperation but rather help to ensure that each sector is managed more effectively.

This creates a balance between specialised expertise and strategic cooperation, enabling Malaysia to comprehensively address economic challenges.

Muhyiddin’s view on the separation of financial powers reflects a combination of rich political experience and a deep understanding of state governance.

This shows that his proposal is not merely based on politics but also on a mature understanding of what is needed to manage Malaysia’s economy more effectively and efficiently. – Nov 23, 2023


Mahathir Mohd Rais is Bersatu Federal Territories’ information chief.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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