The Straits Times says

Malaysia economy needs political stability

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Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has marked his first 100 days in office by placing his country on the path to economic recovery after the disaster that befell it, along with other nations, in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. The challenges he has inherited include the nation’s alarming debt of RM1.5 trillion (S$451 billion) and a global rise in inflation that has increased prices of many everyday goods. To address the high cost of living, Datuk Seri Anwar has announced a series of calibrated measures to help the most vulnerable in the form of cash aid, food baskets and vouchers for staple food items. The recent budget offers RM64 billion in subsidies and incentives but seeks also to enhance Malaysia’s competitive business landscape through tax cuts for small and medium-sized enterprises. The budget is not a populist one but instead is fiscally responsible, targeting benefits on the deserving without undercutting the economic sectors that are critical to the acceleration of growth.

According to the World Bank, Malaysia’s near-term economic outlook will be more dependent than usual on government measures to sustain private sector activity as the shock of the coronavirus pandemic has hit export-led growth and while the depleted fiscal space limits public investment-led expansion. The Anwar government has adopted a forward-looking approach by focusing on the need to improve the speed of business approvals, on digitalisation, and on the sustainable consumption of natural resources.

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