Published: Tuesday October 2, 2012 MYT 7:46:00 PM
PM: Budget 2013 is people-friendly, fiscally responsible
By RAZAK AHMAD
KUALA LUMPUR: Continued growth, low unemployment and a healthy banking sector are key strengths of Malaysia's economy that allowed the Government to present a people-friendly, fiscally-responsible budget.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak noted how Malaysia's growth is expected to remain strong at between 4.5 to 5 percent this year, with less than 3 percent unemployment and a banking system that continued to be "in good shape".
“This strength is what allowed the Government to deliver a budget last week that was responsive to people's needs but also fiscally responsible.
“I am glad treading the comments from analysts who found that indeed it was a people-friendly budget but fiscally responsible,” Najib said in his closing address at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2012.
The two-day event was attended by over 600 local and foreign delegates comprising leaders who discussed the global economic shifts.
Najib said that while the Government had made a commitment to cut the country's deficit from 4.5 percent to 4 per cent in 2014, Budget 2013 was also a “budget for the future” of the country.
“It looks to address some of the questions that this conference has posed how Asian economies can remain competitive, secure more investment, and capitalise on their comparative advantages,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia's experience in dealing with the 1997 Asian economic downturn and the aftermath of the 2008 credit crisis in the United States gave the Government valuable experience in preparing for any future crisis.
“The risks still remain. But thankfully, the Government's successful management of the economy meant that Malaysia was fortunate to emerge from the credit crisis in a position of relative strength,” said Najib.
Najib later launched a book produced by Khazanah on the mangroves of Johor titled “Sandpipers and Mudskippers A Journey Through the Ramsar Mangroves of Iskandar Malaysia.”
He also launched the “Friends of Iskandar Ramsar”, an initiative by Khazanah to organise conservation awareness programmes at the three mangroves in Johor protected under the inter-governmental Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The three mangroves - Tanjung Piai, Kukup Island and Sungai Pulai are all located in Iskandar Malaysia.