13 February 2020
Press statement by MCA Vice President Datuk Lim Ban Hong
Bank Negara’s figures a warning to govt: Economic stimulus package lagging behind
A slowdown in the economy has grown more apparent since last year. But the government, in particular, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has questioned the information by authoritative rating agencies. Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus announced that Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quartre of 2019 (4Q19) shrank to 3.6% year-on-year, the lowest since the third quartre of 2009. The annual growth rate recorded a mere 4.3%, the lowest since the global financial crisis. This sends the biggest alarm. The government must be more vigilant to help our country survive the crisis.
Malaysia’s economic growth last year was the worst in 10 year. This data from Bank Negara is real and accurate economic data. However, the government has only called on industry stakeholders for feedback in drafting an economic stimulus package, and seriously, this is only half-baked at best, and it shows the government rejecting non-government views. As early as last, all walks of life have felt reverberations from the economic downturn. Purchasing power is far worse than the past. However, the Pakatan government still is oblivious in facing up to facts, but pins blame on the former BN government.
Bank Negara Governor Nor Shamsiah also pointed out that the magnitude of the impact on our economy from the Covid-19 outbreak will depend on how widespread and prolonged the outbreak is, and the policy responses in respective countries.
This year’s Visit Malaysia Year was expected to attract 30 million tourists to boost the domestic economy through inbound tourism. But with the current epidemic situation, the government must thus start introducing alternative strategies instead of being too reliant on trade and tourism into Malaysia.
The government can no longer use various excuses to shirk its responsibilities, but has to deploy practical and effective methods to promote the recovery of our economy as soon as possible. This is also the biggest test for the federal government.
Government bonds now account for 60.7% of GDP and exceed the legal limit of 55%. Has the government violated its own laws? With our nation facing an economic downturn, the Pakatan Harapan government must come up with a diversified plan to stimulate and save the economy. It should move away from borrowing more money as such loans only cause the country's economic prospects to become more worrisome.
Datuk Lim Ban Hong
MCA Vice President