Salleh Said Keruak
The Employees Provident Fund, EPF, has just announced its highest dividend pay out in a very long time. As expected, the opposition immediately responded by calling it an election year dividend. Actually, the EPF dividend pay out has been increasing gradually since the last few years and not just this year. In 2014 and 2015, the EPF declared a higher dividend than in 2013, which was also an election year. So it has nothing to do with the elections.
If the EFP had announced a very low dividend pay out this year, they would have responded by saying this is proof the economy is in a bad shape and the country is going bankrupt. This ‘Malaysia is going bankrupt’ mantra has been going on for many years but all that happens is the economy grows from strength to strength. According to economic reports from other countries, Malaysia is rated amongst the best in the region.
So, only the Pakatan Harapan people feel Malaysia is going bankrupt. Foreign economists do not think so. They have forecasted a high growth for Malaysia. Malaysians traveling overseas for holidays is also increasing every year from the statistics that are gathered. And more than 26 million foreign tourists came to Malaysia in 2016 and is expected to increase to 30 million by 2020. Those are not signs of a country in trouble.