PARLIAMENT | Malaysia’s economic performance after the 14th general election cannot be fully assessed based on the current economic data, says Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
He said the available data only covers up to the first quarter of 2018, with the short-term economic indicators covering only up to May.
He was replying to an oral question from Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (BN-Sabak Bernam) at the Dewan Rakyat today on the economic performance post-GE14.
Mohd Radzi said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) last year totalled RM41 billion, while in the first quarter of this year it amounted to RM12 billion, up from RM3.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.
He added that the FDI for the second quarter of 2018 will be published on Aug 17.
“Despite the macroeconomic data showing the country’s economy in a strong position, the main economic indicators reflect a different scenario and need attention.
“There were still growth disparities among states, gaps between income groups particularly the lowest 40 percent income group or B40, high youth unemployment, and rising costs of living,” he said.
Mohd Radzi said the latest financial indicators still point to capital outflows since last year, driven by factors such as loose monetary policy by the US, which has raised interest rates, and the trade tensions between the US and China.
The new government, he said, has taken several measures including strengthening the nation’s economic and financial situation, stopping non-transparent financial practices and financial mismanagement, as well as reviewing development projects especially those that are not transparent and sustainable.
Mohd Radzi said that although economic growth is expected to be affected by policy reforms and investors’ cautious attitude, the impact is likely to be temporary and the situation will return to normal soon.
Institutional reforms will give confidence to foreign investors that the country is moving from the old model to one that is more transparent, comprehensive and inclusive, and will retain the existing FDI besides attracting new investors, he said.