New Year messages from leaders around the world

Malaysians can expect a better economy: Najib

KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Najib Razak said in his New Year message yesterday that Malaysians can look forward to a brighter economic future this year.

He touted his administration's National Transformation initiatives - which aim to make Malaysia join the ranks of developed nations by 2050 - as providing a road map of optimism for the future, as well as the upbeat reports made by several international financial bodies on Malaysia's economic growth.

"Our economy beat all expectations, with the World Bank revising its estimate for our growth this year upwards, not once, not twice, but three times - to a very healthy 5.8 per cent," he wrote in his message.

Malaysia expects healthy growth this year and further reduction of the deficit, as it "continues to take all steps necessary to build the nation and promote the safety, welfare and happiness of people", said Datuk Seri Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

As an example of investor confidence, Mr Najib cited e-commerce giant Alibaba's decision to launch the company's first Digital Free Trade Zone in Malaysia as proof of the government's efficient and business-friendly environment created under National Transformation, or TN50, initiatives.

The investments, the new businesses and new infrastructure projects - from the Pan Borneo Highway to public transport such as the new MRT in the Klang Valley - will create more jobs for Malaysians, Mr Najib said.

With a general election due this year, the Premier also urged voters to recognise who has the proven track record. "Electing the government is a serious business, and we are confident in the wisdom of the people."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysians can expect a better economy: Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe