Rafizi: I'm glad country can see lack of knowledge of opposition leader on economic growth [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli took a stinging swipe at Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin today, saying the "whole country and world" could see the opposition leader's lack of knowledge about economic growth.

During Minister's Question Time, Hamzah, who is also Larut member of parliament, said there was an error in Rafizi's statement towards the question he had posed on the government's plan for a targeted economic model to reduce the impact of global economic slowdown in 2023.

Rafizi, when answering the question, had said Malaysia had gained 8.7 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) last year, though the quarter-to-quarter growth results showed a steady decline.

He said the growth last year must be taken into account when implementing economic plans as they would indicate whether the economy was increasing or declining.

Hamzah, however, claimed that the decline in growth was not in line with the 8.7 per cent GDP growth and asked Rafizi to "correct" his answer.

Following this, Rafizi, who is Pandan MP, cynically said: "I am thankful the whole country and the world is able to see the lack of knowledge from the opposition leader on the economic growth concept."

He explained that the economic growth last year had recorded a large figure compared to the small economic growth in 2021 due to the pandemic and the then movement control order (MCO).

"This is the official figure announced by Bank Negara and the Statistics Department, which is used by the world.

"It is not me who needs to correct the data, but it is your job as an opposition leader to brush up your understanding on economic growth," he said.

Hamzah, however, said his earlier statement referred to Rafizi's answer, which disregarded the fact that the 8.7 per cent growth was recorded during the Perikatan Nasional administration.

"Let's not deny that the significant increase was (because things were) well planned by the previous administration."

In response, Rafizi reiterated his earlier answer that the growth was a result of cash injections by government funds and public sectors, which would had a negative impact on the government's financial position.

"This is why we cannot be content with only 8.7 per cent growth in a situation where the growth in the four quarters showed a decline... we will face slower economic growth in 2023," he said.

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