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Rafizi, address issues with a forward-looking mindset

As a newbie minister, Rafizi must learn to remain calm and communicate effectively with his peers of all political stripes.

Mahathir Mohd Rais
2 minute read

The acrimonious debate between Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin in the Dewan Rakyat exemplifies the continued difficulty of balancing the demands of politics with the need to solve pressing economic concerns.

Some people think Rafizi's attitude during the Q&A session was too arrogant and diverted attention from the essential points. 
As a newbie minister, Rafizi must learn to remain calm and communicate effectively with his peers of all political stripes. The predecessors' efforts must be acknowledged, especially in these trying times. 
Dialogues between opposition and government representatives should be civil and effective if they are to address national concerns. It's possible to see Rafizi's strident rejection of Muhyiddin's suggestion for targeted incentives and his subsequent focus on the debt inherited from the latter's leadership as an attempt to score political points rather than promote cooperation. 
Others have also pointed out that Rafizi's emphasis on the debt incurred by the previous administration and his manner have taken the focus away from helping powerless folks and SMEs prepare for a possible global economic downturn. Politicians need to set aside their differences and work together in a spirit of mutual respect to find solutions to the nation's financial woes. 
Rafizi should not disregard Muhyiddin's efforts, such as the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package, that helped those most negatively impacted by the pandemic. Low-income households received cash transfers, workers received wage subsidies, and small businesses were given aid. Furthermore, the government offered financial facilities and extended loan moratoria to help firms and individuals survive the economic downturn. 
The current PH-BN coalition government should focus on helping the most vulnerable and small businesses recover from the pandemic. Healthcare, education, and environmental protection are all crucial to the long-term success of a nation and necessitate a more aggressive stance on the part of the government. 
The government, while working to step up its economic recovery, must also guarantee that the advantages of development are shared fairly among all citizens. Those already disadvantaged, such as those living in rural areas or those with physical impairments, may have even more trouble breaking through to the mainstream economy. 
With it, the government must have a multi-pronged long-term strategy to hasten economic growth recuperation post-pandemic, prioritising aiding marginalized communities and micro SMEs, fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and advocating for sustainable and inclusive growth. When all parties are heard and considered, the government may find common ground and work together to find solutions that benefit all Malaysians.

Mahathir Mohd Rais is Perikatan Nasional's federal territories information chief. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.