BATU PAHAT, April 19 (Bernama) -- The people's investment in Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) will be affected if the opposition were to wrest control of the government with their 'Pak Pandir' policy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said based on the Ministry of Finance's findings, the abolition of tolls, goods and services tax (GST) and the National Higher Education Fund Corporation, as promised in the opposition manifesto, would increase the national debt to RM1 trillion or 80 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 50.8 per cent.
"It will have a bad effect on Bursa Malaysia... the currency will be affected.. PNB will be affected.. unit trusts will be affected.
"Bursa (Malaysia) is getting stronger. This is a closely linked the farsighted economic management of the country. This is not a trivial matter to be politicised," he said at the launch of the Malaysian Unit Trust Week at the Batu Pahat Stadium here today.
PNB is the country's largest fund manager, managing funds worth RM200 billion through 13.4 million unit holders of various ASNB trust funds.
Last December, PNB paid out a total distribution of RM10.7 billion in dividends for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, benefitting 9.1 million unit holders of Amanah Saham Bumiputera.
Pak Pandir, a popular character in a Malay folklore, is depicted as foolish and naive -- the very incarnation of the village idiot whose sillyness always lands him in hilarious and adverse situations.
Najib said the total dividend (and bonus) payout of RM14.6 billion by PNB in 2017 was a boon to the people.
"With the superb track record and relentless struggle that created PNB .. which is close to the heart of the BN (Barisan Nasional) government.
"We cannot be populist. We've garnered the support in the scope of responsibility. We must be responsible," he said.
The Prime Minister said the people understood that if the GST were to be abolished, there was no guarantee that the price of goods would drop.
"In fact, the people also understand that even if the sales and service tax (SST) were to be implemented, the opposition will increase them by 10 per cent and six per cent, respectively. (This will be) double jeorpady.
"The opposition Pak Pandir's policy will have a bad effect on the country's economy," he said.
Najib said the unveiling of the BN Manifesto on April 7 had given a positive effect as three credit ratings agencies had revised the country's growth with a more positive expectation.
The World Bank has raised Malaysia's GDP forecast to 5.6 per cent from 5.4 per cent previously.
The Prime Minister said JP Morgan and the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research were also optimistic of the country's economic growth.
"The BN manifesto has been highly regarded. They (rating agencies) did not say anything about the opposition manifesto as it is worthless," he said.
Present were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, PNB Group Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar and PNB Group President and Chief Executive Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad.