KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said Malaysians need to look at the facts and not listen to rumours and negative propaganda regarding the country’s economic “Armageddon”. “There are so much doomsday predictions by the prophets of doom regarding Malaysia’s economic “Armageddon”.
“Of course, the soothsayers are mostly Malaysians opposed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Basically, it is mere political rhetoric and not financial analyses based on economic fundamentals,” he said in his blog today. According to Salleh, that scenario cannot reconcile with the fact that investors are still coming to Malaysia to invest, and every year the country was seeing an increase in foreign investments.
He said another example would be Malaysia’s new Sukuk bond offering of US$1.5 billion, which received overwhelming response on Thursday, despite the weaker global conditions. Salleh said the Sukuk was over-subscribed by 4.2 times when it received a subscription of US$6.3 billion.
He said this shows that Malaysia’s long-term fundamentals remain appealing to investors. He also added that compare this to Indonesia’s offering last month, where a US$2.5 billion Sukuk was 3.4 times over-subscribed. He said if the people read the media reports, especially those online, it would seem that Malaysia was on the brink of an economic collapse, like what happened in the 1920s and when the world sort of “came to an end”.
Then, the stock market collapsed, banks went bankrupt, and people lost their jobs and homes and had to sleep on the streets. Salleh said if they also look at the equity market, Malaysia’s capital market showed an increase of up to RM2.8 trillion in 2015, up 150 per cent since 2009.
“The equity market also expanded by 69.6 per cent to RM1.7 trillion, while the bond and Sukuk market grew 74.4 per cent to RM1.1 trillion. More importantly, the income for the bottom 40 per cent households had increased by a compounded annual growth rate of 12 per cent, even higher than the national average of eight per cent. This means the government has managed to lift 2.9 million people out of absolute poverty,” Salleh said.