KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Asean Research Institute chairman Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid said the new government's openess and conviction to combat financial fraud will help to boost investors’ confidence.
"I would agree with the government's view that there's not likely to be a recession this year but I think there are signs of economic slowing down.
"You can see recent numerous downward revisions in forecasts by the World Bank and IMF (International Monetary Fund) for example," Munir told reporters after a seminar today.
CIMB Asean Research Institute today organised a seminar titled 'Leveraging ASEAN solutions for trade through ASSIST'.
On Monday, International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming, in a statement, assured investors that Malaysia will not enter a recession this year but acknowledged weaker economic growth.
"I would say the new government's approach to have a more open and transparent administration is a plus for the economy.
“In Malaysia, we all get scared to say negative things about our economy but we have to be objective. The present government is committed to reducing corruption,” Munir said.
Since the start of this year, the government has set up the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC).
The NFCC is a dedicated government agency to tackle money laundering, working in tandem with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Royal Malaysian Customs, Immigration Department and Bank Negara.
Munir highlighted the newly-formed NFCC to tackle laundering of illegal money would help reinstate investors' confidence in Malaysia.
"It's just that we don't see the government's fight against corruption and money laundering reflected in the numbers we are reading about now. It will take time," he said.
Last month, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Malaysia approved of RM14 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) in the first nine months of 2018.
This worked out to be a 350 per cent spike compared with 2017’s same period.
When asked to comment, Munir replied, "the government and private sector must work closer to sustain the momentum.”
"We also seemed to be so concerned with the stock market. Yes, it is an indicator of economic performance but it isn't the be all and end all. Sometimes we forget about the real economy.. in that the investments that might come in, it takes time to make an impact," Munir added.