Malaysia’s economic growth has averaged 4.2 percent annually since 2006, below the 6 percent targeted by the government under the previous five-year plan. The economy shrank 1.7 percent last year. Foreign direct investment ( FDI ) nosedive by 81% in 2009, the worst in the Asian region.
Last week, CIMB group chief executive officer Nazir Razak said the massive plunge in foreign direct investments last year was partially caused by uncertainties over economic reforms, such as the implementation of the New Economic Model (NEM). He said “The whole issue with deciding the new version of NEP (new economic policy) is sensitive but we have to deal with it. My worry is that we have taken too long to deal with it.” He said the government must now be decisive on economic reforms and execute them promptly, without being sidetracked by detractors and quoted ” “There’s Perkasa screaming in a corner and all these things are happening. This period (of uncertainty) must be cut short,” . Compared with the Minister of Trade and Industry Mustapha , Nasir had given a sensible and practical statement.
Let’s look at our nothern neighbour, Thailand. This is a news release from Bernama yesterday:
BANGKOK, Wednesday 4 August 2010 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is confident that Thailand’s economic growth will chart more than 10% for the first half of this year despite the recent political turmoil.
He said the country’s high growth in export in the first six months has contributed to the high economic growth forecast.
A 10-week street protest which turned into violence clashes between protesters and troops which ended on May 19 and left 91 people dead and 1,800 injured did not hamper Thailand’s economy.
Exports in June rose to a record high at 46.3% year-on-year, according to the Fiscal Policy Office last month.
Exports in the first half of 2010 soared 41.5% as exporters were able to establish new markets in India, China, Middle East, African countries and Vietnam, it said.
The Bank of Thailand last month forecast the country’s growth at 6.5% to 7.5% for the whole of this year.