Malaysia PM unveils budget amid public pessimism over growth

Global Business

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In most countries, people would be thrilled to see their economy growing at more than 4 percent and unemployment at barely three percent. But, not in Malaysia.

Surveys suggest Malaysians believe their economy is in trouble and going to get worse, and the perceptions of foreign investors have also taken a knock. That has added to the challenges facing Malaysia’s government as it lays out its plans for the coming year.

CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia PM unveils budget amid public pessimism over growth

Malaysia PM unveils budget amid public pessimism over growth

Scandals, oil prices, falling currency hit sentiment. Malaysians’ pessimistic, stats show economy no so bad. In most countries, people would be thrilled to see their economy growing at more than 4 percent and unemployment at barely three percent. But, not in Malaysia. CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia’s Prime Minsister Najib Razak tabled his 2017 budget on Friday with his country’s people in need of a boost.

A recent survey found Malaysians to be the most pessimistic in ASEAN when it comes to their economy – it’s not hard to believe.

Low oil prices have hit the government’s income, forcing it into cutbacks. The currency remains weak. People still are still unhappy with the two-year-old goods and services tax.

And the government is still being dogged by allegations that billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money was illegally siphoned off from state investment firm 1MDB.

Malaysia dropped seven spots in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness index this year.

But that’s after rising for six straight years on the back of the government’s economic reform efforts, and it’s still the highest-ranked developing economy.

The GST has helped partly offset reduced oil revenues and the economy is still set to grow at more than four per cent.

But economists said the government needs to step up the pace of economic liberalization and other reform efforts.


Sung Won Sohn on Malaysia and Southeast Asian economies

For more on the economies of Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo was joined by Sung Won Sohn, professor of Economics at California State University, Channel Islands.