Malaysia's GDP growth better than expected

Malaysia's GDP growth better than expected
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala (right) attributes the GDP growth to the Government's transformation programmes.

PETALING JAYA - The recent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.4 per cent in the second quarter has beaten all forecasts due to the successes from the Government's transformation programmes, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

"(This) goes to show that the Fe­­deral Government's transformation programmes are bearing fruit.

"The momentum is just right and the economy is robust - we will continue to see growth," he said in an interview at the launch of the Asia Leadership Conference 2014 hosted by Sunway University.

Idris, who is also Pemandu CEO, attributed the success to a diverse selection of sectors that had seen growth under the Economic Trans­formation and Government Trans­­formation Programmes.

"We used to rely a lot on the oil and gas sector but now, we have improved in a variety of areas such as tourism and business services.

"Private investment has increased from 3 per cent to 15.3 per cent over the last five years while Malaysia's position in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Ranking has shot up from 23rd in 2013 to 6th this year," he said.

The country's fiscal deficit could now be further reduced, said Idris.

Bank Negara Malaysia had an­­nounced last week that the coun­­-try's economy was expected to ex­­ceed the 5.5 per cent forecast for this year due to the strong performance re­­corded in the first six months of the year.

Malaysia saw a GDP growth of 6.3 per cent for the first half of the year compared with 5.5 per cent in the same period last year.

Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said Malaysia's GDP growth for this year would now exceed the initial forecast range of between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent.

On another matter, Idris said his ad­­vice to national carrier Malaysia Air­­lines was in the business plan he had drawn up when he was its CEO.

"The Business Transformation Plan 2 (BTP2) is still on the MAS website. Going forward, I would say my advice to MAS is in that document," he said.

The BTP2 was a five-year plan which promised MAS would turn a profit of at least RM1.5bil (S$592 million) in 2010.

The plan calls for MAS to maintain its high-quality services, lower costs, have competitive fare prices, get more customers and grow its network.

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