‘Malaysia remains among 30 most competitive economies in the world’
31 Dec 2020
The economic stimulus packages unveiled following the Covid-19 pandemic are the largest in the history of Malaysia and among the largest in Asia, which is predicted to contribute more than four percentage points to the country’s economic growth.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a recovery trend and a positive impact on the economy could be seen from the third quarter of 2020, which was the result of various stimulus packages and the reopening of the economy.
In a New Year’s special televised address tonight, he said the country’s gross domestic product performance improved by registering a contraction of 2.7 per cent compared to a contraction of 17.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.
The unemployment rate, he added, showed encouraging development with a reduction to 4.7 per cent from 5.1 per cent in the previous quarter.
“The government introduced various proactive and innovative steps to lessen the people’s burden throughout 2020 through these economic stimulus packages.
“Its implementation is always monitored and being reported to the Finance Ministry by the Laksana Unit (Coordination Unit between National Agencies), based on the principles of transparency, openness and accountability.”
Muhyiddin said to date, 10.6 million Malaysians had received the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional. Meanwhile RM12.928 billion was spent to help 326,136 employers retain 2.67 million workers through the Wage Subsidy Programme.
He said 830,314 small and medium micro enterprises also received the Special Prihatin Grant, while eight million individuals and SME borrowers enjoyed bank loan moratorium.
He pointed out that Malaysia was among the first countries in the world to announce a blanket moratorium for six months, followed by a targeted moratorium.
Muhyiddin said to support economic growth, the government also formed several high-level councils, including the Economic Action Council, Bumiputera Prosperity Council, National Workers Council, Digital Economy and 4IR National Council, and the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
This, he said, showed the government’s commitment to ensure a balanced economic development in Malaysia.
He said the Perikatan Nasional-led government was rooted in the principle of being “prihatin” (caring) and took into account all aspects of the people’s needs.
“I would like to stress that ‘Prihatin’ is not just a slogan, it covers the formation and thinking of government policies, right up to the implementation and delivery.
“The government will continue to consider initiatives for the target groups to ensure that the people benefit from policies by a concerned government,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that Malaysia still remained one of the 30 most competitive economies in the world, despite the pandemic, placing in the top 10 in economic achievement in the World Competitiveness Ranking 2020 report by the Institute of Management Development.
“I believe there is still more room for improvement and God willing, we will (improve) as fast as possible so Malaysia’s economic competitiveness will grow continuously.”