World Economy

Malaysia Says Slowdown Temporary

Malaysia Says Slowdown TemporaryMalaysia Says Slowdown Temporary

The current economic slowdown in Malaysia is due to investors adopting a cautious attitude after the 14th general election, according to minister of economic affairs, Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He said this in parliament in a reply to a question from Dungun MP, Wan Hassan Ramli, who had asked what measures were being taken by the government to address the slowdown in the economy, Antara reported.

As a whole, Azmin said the economy and banking sector, which is used to gauge the former, were strong.

Malaysia’s economy grew at 5.9% in 2017, with inflation at 3.8% and unemployment at 3.4%.

However, the government was concerned with the debt level, which stood in excess of RM1 trillion ($245 billion) if contingent liabilities were included, he added.

Azmin reiterated that the government had taken measures to cut back on frivolous expenditure and leakages to put the economy on stronger footing.

“The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysian Plan in November will spell out some of these measures,” said Azmin.

Small and medium enterprises contributed RM435.1 billion last year (2017) to Malaysia’s economy with a real gross domestic product growth of 7.2% compared with 2016’s 5.2%.

As a result, SME contribution to Malaysia’s GDP rose to 37.1% last year from 36.6% in 2016.

Citing data from the statistics department, SME Corp Malaysia said the higher SME GDP growth was reflected across all major economic sectors, particularly in the services, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

“Going forward, SMEs are expected to assume a greater role, not only as an enabler but as a key driver of growth,” it said.

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