MOF: Malaysia will not experience economic downturn despite global uncertainties

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) stressed that Malaysia will not experience an economic turmoil this year although the country is faced with global economic uncertainties.

Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong said the technical definition of an economic recession is when a country experiences two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

“This year, the government expects the country’s economy to expand around 4.5 per cent. This is in line with that projected by the International Monetray Fund (IMF) and World Bank, which projected Malaysia’s economic growth this year at 4.4 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively.

“The government will continue to strengthen the economic growth and equitable development for the people as well as making Malaysia as a more attractive investment destination by facilitating investment processes, create more high innovative startup companies and generate more job opportunities with fair income,” he said during an oral answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Sim said this in reply to a question from Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PN-Dungun) on the measures taken by the government to address the economic downturn issues in 2023 to minimise the impact on Malaysians.

To tackle the effects of rising prices of basic necessities, Sim said the Unity Government continues to implement subsidies and cash aid such as Rahmah Cash Contribution and various incentives with a total allocation of RM64 billion.

Apart from that, he said the government has also implemented the Menu Rahmah and Jualan Rahmah programmes under the Rahmah umbrella initiative, besides continuing the setting of price ceiling programme as well as standardising the prices of specific basic necessities.

To rebuild the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) during the post-pandemic period, Sim said the government has provided incentive funds, tax deduction, loans and financing guarantees with an allocation of over RM40 billion.

Through the empowerment of the MSME sector directly, the country can develop its economy and indirectly create high-income jobs that are fair for the people, he added.

He also said that besides subsidy allocation, the government has also started to implement targeted subsidy in electricity bills for 10 per cent of the top consumers. – Bernama