By Fakhri al-Arashi
Having received an offer from the Yemeni government to be the economic advisor for the National Unity Government, Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister and noted economist Dr. Mahatir Mohammed said security and stability represent the main obstacles for the country’s chances for economic progress.
In a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Sana’a last Thursday, Dr. Mohammed said that Yemen still has a good chance to overcome its current economic crisis.
“Unlike what we faced in Malaysia, Yemen did not sink into civil war; neither did it face problems with racism. The country remains attractive for investors to participate in the economy’s revival,” said Mohammed.
He said that he would take the Yemeni offer very seriously and offer his advice on how Yemen can achieve further development. “It’s important that all groups in Yemen have an interest in state of the nation and forget the past and think about the future,” said Mohammed.
Answering a question about whether the World Bank had recommended that he provide help for Yemen’s economy, Mohammed said that he received an invitation from the Yemeni prime minister and it doesn’t matter by whom he was recommended; he went on to say that all he cares about is that Malaysia is very close to Yemen and that a large number of Malaysians have Yemeni roots.
In his short visit to Yemen, Mohammed met with President Hadi and Basindowa, with whom he discussed his experience in Malaysia. He also said that he would like to do something for Yemen’s economy akin to what he what he was able to achieve for Malaysia’s economy.