Malaysia’s economy to grow 4.8pc in 2020, PM Mahathir says

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – Malaysia’s economy is expected to expand by 4.8 per cent this year, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday, maintaining the government’s forecast as it braces for a potential global slowdown tied to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Mahathir said the government expects the economy to improve on the 4.7 per cent growth projected for 2019 “despite challenging times”. He did not elaborate. “With good fiscal discipline, our budget deficit will narrow to 3.2 per cent this year. We are committed to provide a stable business environment for investors. We will be business friendly,” he said in a speech at a business conference.

Malaysia’s Finance Ministry has floated a stimulus package to cushion the potential hit to the economy from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed over 900 people and infected more than 40,000 worldwide.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said last Friday that his ministry is currently seeking feedback from other ministries and will present the stimulus plan to Cabinet once completed.

“It (the virus outbreak) will definitely have an effect, but we need to look at it over the entire year,” Lim said.

File photo of the Kuala Lumpur skyline