GDP growth better than international firms’ projection: Tengku Zafrul


FINANCE minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the Malaysian GDP for 2020 fares better than projections by international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (-5.8%), the World Bank (-5.8%) and the Asian Development Bank (-6.0%).

He said immediate actions taken by the government via four economic stimulus packages amounting to RM305 billion or 20% of GDP is estimated to have contributed four percentage points to economic growth for 2020.

“Fiscal discipline and sustainable medium-term growth prospects recognized by the international credit rating agency, Moody’s which affirms Malaysia’s A3 rating with stable outlook.

“The unemployment rate is lower than the highest rate of 5.3% in May 2020 with 4.8% for 4Q20, and 4.8% for November and December 2020,” Tengku Zafrul said in a statement today.

Malaysia’s economy contracted by 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20) bringing the full-year GDP performance in 2020 to a contraction of 5.6%, the biggest decline since 7.4% in 1998.

In the third quarter of 2020, Malaysia recorded a decline of 2.7%.

The sluggish 4Q20 performance was due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) at several states since mid-October, Chief Statistician of Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, said in the Bank Negara Malaysia’s 4Q20 GDP virtual briefing this morning.

Tengku Zafrul further said that the government is confident that the systematic and effective implementation of the National Covid- 19 Immunisation Program will encourage the re-opening of various economic sectors, restore consumer sentiment and boost Malaysia’s economic growth.

The minister added that several priorities for economic recovery efforts have been identified and implemented into the planning for Budget 2022 includes continuing large-scale projects such as East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) and Light Rail Transit Line 3 (LRT3) as well other projects with high multiplier effects.

Medium-Term Revenue Strategy will be implemented including diversifying economic fundamentals, improving the tax framework, as well as promoting value add in commodity sectors such as rubber and palm oil.

Tengku Zafrul added the government will analyse the revenue generation of the country’s economic sectors holistically through the environmental, social and governance (ESG) with the challenges being taken into account.

“The challenges of maintaining environmental sustainability, people’s hope and prudent administration in the public and private sectors to ensure Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 achievable.

“Improving human capital policy to ensure our talents are ready for the future, in preparation for the challenges of the digital era,” he added.