The uncertainty has caused the ringgit to plummet, making it the worst-performing Asian currency this year
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s government on Friday forecast slower growth in 2016 and announced measures to spur demand in an economy bedeviled by slumping oil prices and corruption allegations aimed at the prime minister. Prime Minister Najib Razak offered increased handouts to the poor, tax breaks, stepped-up investment, and accelerated public infrastructure projects to help stimulate the economy and ease living costs. Hitting back at critics of his leadership, Najib declared that Malaysia was “not a failed state or bankrupt nation”, as he presented the country’s 2016 budget in parliament on Friday. He forecast economic growth of 4.0 to 5.0% in 2016, down from an expected 4.5-5.5% percent this year. Although growth remains relatively strong – 4.9 percent in the second quarter -global economic uncertainty and depressed oil prices have clouded the future. The uncertainty has caused the ringgit to plummet, making it the worst-performing Asian currency this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.
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