Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali must explain measures to be taken to revive the economy following a dismal showing in the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year, a PKR MP has said.
According to Subang MP Wong Chen (photo), this is especially due to concerns going into 2020 due to low palm oil production and the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
“Just out. (Gross Domestic Product) GDP numbers are very bad. Q4 2019 was a very low 3.6 percent and that dragged down the 2019 numbers to 4.3 percent. This is the lowest growth rate in 10 years, a drop from 4.7 percent in 2018.
“In the near future, we are going to face a problematic Q1 2020 due to low palm oil production and the coronavirus. The minister of economic affairs should explain (the) next steps,” Wong tweeted today.
For the record, Wong is known to be aligned to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim. The party is seen to be split due to strained relations between the latter and Azmin, who is PKR deputy president.
His posting comes following a Reuters report today which stated the Malaysian economy recorded the slowest economic growth in a decade – 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.
The report attributed the slump to lower output of palm oil, crude oil and natural gas, as well as lower exports in the midst of the ongoing Sino-US trade war.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Monday stated that the nation’s fiscal performance is expected to expand by 4.8 percent this year “despite challenging times”.
The premier is slated to announce an economic stimulus package in March aimed at aiding local industries in the wake of the global Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak
Malaysia has recorded 18 positive cases of the virus, although three patients have since recovered.
To date, over 20 countries are affected, although China – the epicentre of the outbreak – remains the worse hit with over 44,000 sickened and 1,100 recorded deaths.