In the face of rising public skepticism, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli has vowed to steadfastly move forward with the Anwar administration’s economic blueprint. The bold economic reforms initiated since November have been met with mixed reactions from the populace.
During the ministry’s monthly meeting, Ramli, also the Member of Parliament for Pandan, addressed the doubts surrounding some policies such as the Progressive Wages Policy scheduled for implementation in August. He acknowledged that the early stages might be met with skepticism due to the extended timeline required to observe the policy’s impacts.
Undeterred, Ramli urged his team to prepare for what he likened to a marathon of policy implementation. The ministry, he noted, bears the responsibility not only for policy formulation and approval but possibly its execution. Ramli stressed the importance of diligence and transparency at the policy stages.
As policymakers, Ramli acknowledged the inevitable criticism and cynicism, stating it’s a reality they must confront. The ministry, under his leadership, is responsible for essential, albeit unpopular, reforms to revamp an economy historically reliant on pump priming, subsidies, and cheap labour.
The former chartered accountant and engineering graduate outlined his goals, including raising income levels and re-adjusting subsidy distributions, despite these policies often taking time to generate results. Amid the public’s growing impatience due to soaring inflation and living cost pressures, some of his initiatives, like the People’s Income Initiative, have faced criticism.
However, Ramli dismissed these critiques, attributing them to a lack of understanding of policy operations. He reaffirmed his commitment to his tasks and is slated to introduce the Progressive Wage Policy in August. Although the specifics remain undisclosed, the policy aims to help the country escape the ‘middle income trap’ by gradually raising salaries.
Capping his morning address, Ramli stated that effecting significant changes in society and the economy wouldn’t happen overnight. Despite the naysayers, he remains optimistic, drawing parallels between policy implementation and playing American football, focusing on steady, progressive steps.
This news story is based on an article published on malaymail.com.