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PM meets experts, brother predicts tough times
Published:  Aug 19, 2015 5:55 PM
Updated: 11:30 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak held a meeting with several economists from local and foreign financial institutions while his brother Nazir, who helms CIMB, predicted tough times ahead for the banking and financial markets over the next one to two years

"I appreciate their candid views on various aspects of our capital and people economies.

"These opinions are useful for the government to proactively manage our economy going forward," the prime minister posted on Facebook.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said he is looking forward to meet more subject matter specialists and corporate leaders representing the broad range of Malaysian economy in the coming weeks.

The meeting comes amid economic warnings and a weakening Ringgit.

Bloomberg reported that Malaysia is paying the price for weak foreign currency holdings and messy politics as the cost to protect its debt soars to near a four-year high.

It said UBS Group AG predicted even more pain ahead.

On Monday, the Prime Minister's Office said Najib would engage corporate leaders and seek their views on current economic developments.

It said their feedback would help the government undertake measures to set Malaysia on the right trajectory to become a developed, harmonious and prosperous nation, according to Bernama .

Meanwhile, Nazir ( photo ), speaking at the "Bumiputera of Tomorrow" programme today, said on its part, the CIMB banking group is bracing itself for the economic and political turbulence ahead.

"You can have plans for one to five years, but you must always be sensitive to the environment. The fact is that for the banking and financial markets, in the next one to two years – these are going to be difficult times.

"So we have chosen to reduce our cost structures very early on. (In terms of) manpower, we have let go about 4,000 people in Malaysia and Indonesia.

"We will make sure that we weather the current financial storm that is going on not just for Malaysia but in the region," he was quoted as saying by The Edge Markets .

According to Nazir, Malaysia also needs to recalibrate as the country is sailing through difficult waters in terms of politics and economy.

He said the time has come to review and reset the way the country is going forward

"How business is conducted going forward, how the government implements its policies, how the government is too involved in businesses.

"I have asked the government that we should set up a National Consultative Council 2, in the same way we did back in 1969 and 1970," he added.


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