KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 – Malaysia has accomplished a series of significant achievements and economic development for the past eight years despite facing various external challenges such as plummeting global crude oil prices and international geopolitical tensions.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has affirmed that Malaysia remained steadfast in managing the country’s finances, practising efficient governance and prudent fiscal discipline. Most importantly, the premier, has in a definitive manner, declared that the Malaysian economy’s footing is firm, and is not in state of crisis as painted by some sceptics.
“We should not fall for the lies and non-stop propaganda on social media by irresponsible parties, stating that the World Bank has issued negative reports on the nation’s economy. In fact, the World Bank has revised their forecasts on the East Asia and Pacific region,” Najib said when tabling the Budget 2018 in Parliament here today.
Malaysia’s gross domestic product forecast was revised upwards by the World Bank to 5.2 per cent for 2017, from 4.9 per cent earlier. The bank also commended the country’s economic performance for its laudable policies. Najib said during the first half of 2017, the country’s economy recorded a sterling growth of 5.7 per cent.
“The government also forecast the Malaysian economy to record an annual growth of 5.7 per cent in 2017, higher than March estimates ranging from 4.3 per cent to 4.8 per cent,” he added. In addition, Najib said, Malaysia has successfully strengthened and deepened its diplomatic and trade relations with the world’s largest economic powers such as China, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States,
Private investment has increased significantly to over RM211 billion compared with RM81 billion in 2009. The nation’s fiscal deficit is also estimated to be reduced to three per cent of GDP this year, from 6.7 per cent in 2009, following a systematic and organised plans, strategies and initiatives.
“As a result, three prestigious international credit rating agencies have maintained their ratings on Malaysia at’A-‘ with a stable prospect. Let us all work hard to ensure fruitful outcomes,” he said. Najib, looking resplendent in cobalt blue Baju Melayu, also noted that a gamut of initiatives provided by the government for the past eight years has also proven to be successful.
“In August, exports peaked to one of its highest levels, exceeding RM80 billion and recorded a double-digit growth. Currently, the international reserves amounted to US$101.4 billion, or RM428.7 billion, which is sufficient to finance 7.5 months of retained imports compared with US$21.7 billion, or RM59.1 billion, during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997,? he said.
The 2016 Report of Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey has also highlighted that income per capita has increased from RM27,819 in 2010 to RM40,713 in 2017 and expected to increase further to RM42,777 in 2018. Monthly median income has also increased to RM5,288 in 2016 from RM4,585 in 2014, while the B40 household income, the monthly median has increased to RM3,000 from RM2,629 between 2014 and 2016.
Also noteworthy, the household income distribution in Malaysia too has improved with the Gini coefficient reduced to 0.399 in 2016, the lowest in the history of Malaysia. “This reflects narrowing income gap as the country progresses towards a more equal distribution,” he said. — Bernama