KUALA LUMPUR: The various initiatives of the government to strengthen the national economy have borne fruit and proved wrong the allegations condemning Malaysia as a failed state, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
The Prime Minister said the government’s far-sighted economic plan and proactive measures to implement important decisions strengthened the nation’s economic resilience to face external challenges.
“The proof is that the Gross Domestic Product recorded a growth of 5.6 per cent for the first quarter of 2017. This performance is supported mainly by public sector spending,” said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, when replying to an oral question in the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) who wanted the Finance Minister to state the probability that Malaysia will achieve high-income status by 2020 after taking into account the projection of Bank Negara Malaysia that the country’s economy will recover strongly this year and the projection of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the world economy is recovering.
Najib said the IMF recently revised the country’s economic growth forecast for 2017 from 4.5 per cent to 4.8 per cent while the World Bank forecast the GDP growth to be 4.9 per cent compared to its original forecast of 4.3 per cent.
As such, he said, the government would continue to implement various initiatives to ensure that all economic sectors remained resilient and competitive at the domestic and global levels for the country’s economy to remain strong.
“This includes diversifying the sources of government revenue, reducing dependence on oil and gas revenues, providing a conducive environment to attract foreign and domestic investment, boosting trade and productivity, and strengthening the nation’s innovative and technological capabilities,” he said.
Replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Pematang Pauh), on allegations of the nation’s economy not stimulating and the national debt rising, Najib said the national debt was under control.
He said the government will introduce measures in the best interests of the people as well as ensure that they derive benefit from these initiatives.
“In the coming months, more measures will be introduced. As a government, we will do the best for the people. However, we cannot promise unreasonable things, what is usually offered as candy by the opposition to please the people because we know that no government can implement these,” he said.
On Wan Azizah’s question pertaining to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debts, Najib said it was a technical matter and would not affect the confidence in the nation’s economy. – Bernama