KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18, 2008 (AFP) – Malaysia may introduce more measures to stimulate economic growth and counter the worsening global financial crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said Tuesday.
The government earlier this month announced a 7.0 billion ringgit (2.0 billion dollar) stimulus programme, warning that growth would slow substantially in 2009.
“We are open to additional measures from time to time… we are watching and monitoring the situation very carefully and closely,” Najib said, according to the state Bernama news agency.
Najib, who is also finance minister, said last week that the government has the capacity to introduce more stimulus packages but that it would not allow the budget deficit to expand further.
The government has already widened its deficit forecast for 2009 to 4.8 percent, from 3.6 percent predicted in August, due to the additional government spending.
Najib said the government was confident of achieving its growth target of 5.0 percent for 2008 and 3.5 percent for 2009, by ensuring strong domestic demand.
And he said the government is open to further liberalisation.
“We must look into some of our domestic regulatory requirements that can be liberalised and streamlined so that we can facilitate the ease and the cost of doing business in Malaysia for domestic and foreign investors,” he said.
The 2.0 billion dollar spending package, reaped from savings on reduced oil subsidies, is to be spent on “high-impact” projects including roads, schools and low-cost housing.
Source : AFP