When I said cash is king, the king is rakyat, says Najib

12 May 2022 10:26pm
The Grand Debate: Najib vs Anwar. Picture by: Halim Wahid
The Grand Debate: Najib vs Anwar. Picture by: Halim Wahid

SHAH ALAM - Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today explained his famous analogy of "cash is king" a phase that went famous in the 14th general elections.

But Najib said when money goes directly to people's accounts it benefits them, referring to public financial aid called BR1M introduced by Najib to assist the poor.

"Use that money to buy books, rice or take children to McDonald's as long as we help the rakyat immediately," he said during a live debate with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He was replying to a question by a ​​​​​medical officer, Masliha who asked Najib to comment on Bank Negara's overnight policy rate, and how it will impact the public. She further said Najib is often tied to the phrase "cash is king".

Najib also touched on goods and services (GST) which could have benefited the country.

"That would have given the country an additional RM30 billion. We could have done so much more for the rakyat," Najib said.

That is why Najib said there is a need to improve the country's economy and continue with direct cash payment, especially during Covid-19.

However, Anwar said such financial aid causes "dependency syndrome" as the income gap between the Malays remain the biggest. "This is helping the poor so that they are indebted to us, so that they support us, not to give them (economic) independence," he says.

Forex scandal

Najib in his question to Anwar had ask him to state his stand on Pakatan Harapan taking no further action on the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 1990s foreign exchange (forex scandal).

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Anwar replies that he has no problem with investigations into the forex scandal being reopened. He further said the prime minister could inform the attorney-general to reopen the case.

The losses from BNM’s forex trading, alleged to be more than US$10 billion (RM25 billion then), was believed to have taken place between 1987 and 1992 when the exchange rate had still been between RM2.3 and RM2.5 to the US dollar.