March 11 (Bloomberg) — Malaysian Finance Minister Najib Razak, who is also the deputy prime minister, comments on the effects of the government’s 60 billion-ringgit ($16 billion) stimulus package that he announced yesterday. He spoke to reporters today in Kuala Lumpur.
On whether the government funding made available to companies will spur economic growth:
“It will have the desired impact because you are making available additional money for private companies to undertake investment. If you undertake investment, you create more economic activities. One of the key elements in the process of recovery is to ensure that the banking sector is functioning and to make sure credit is available for industries. If you don’t ensure this, the recession will be deeper.”
On when the stimulus will start to boost growth:
“Some of the projects can take off immediately. The ministry of education has about 2 billion “ringgit” worth of projects that have already been tendered out. We’re trying to spend as much as we can from the allocation. Some of that will depend on take up from the industries. For example, the three schemes that involve government guarantees.
“If we can successfully implement the second package, we might be able to prevent Malaysia from being in recession.” On when he will take over as prime minister from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a handover that has been scheduled for the end of this
month: “Wait for the official announcement from the prime minister’s department. There will be an official announcement. Can you wait?”
–Editor: Jake Lloyd-Smith
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Source : Bloomberg