Mainstream
Challenging task managing the economy
Roznah Abdul Jabbar | 31 Aug 2018 00:30
As former finance minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim knows only too well what ails the Malaysian economy. The Pakatan Harapan government’s revelation of a RM1 tril national debt, bloated mega projects, the 1MDB scandal and massive corruption are all posing big challenges to the current leadership.

Anwar, who is also an ex-deputy prime minister, acknowledges that the economic problems facing the country today are somewhat different from the time he was finance minister in the mid-1990s. “I think it is somewhat more complex because the task now is to regularise and ascertain the actual state or debt and economic losses which were not a problem in the past. When you want to chart a course in the economy in the medium or short-term, you have to have all the figures at your disposal,” he tells FocusM in an interview.

The current state of the economy does not need explanation as everyone knows about it. Recently, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) reported the economy is slowing down and the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast has been lowered from 5.5-6% to 5%. Growth has been dwindling since the third quarter of last year.

However, Anwar says he is optimistic about the economy as current figures are not actually alarming and there is no disruption to the general plan. “I tend to be more optimistic, although as you know, temporarily, any transition may cost some concerns,” he says.

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