Malaysia’s modest gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.3 per cent last year is considered better than some of its neighbours, according to Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. NST pix by Danial Saad

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s modest gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.3 per cent last year is considered better than some of its neighbours, said Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Other Asean countries, while most of it registered higher growth, had missed their 2019’s projection, Azmin said.

Last year, Singapore’s economy grew 0.7 per cent, slowest in a decade, while the Philippines missed its 6.0 to 6.5 per cent target to register 5.9 per cent GDP expansion, the lowest in eight years.

Indonesia’s GDP rose 5.02 per cent, short of the government’s 5.3 per cent target. It was the slowest growth in three years.

Azmin said the trend was also seen in parallel with the growth of other Asian countries.

“The overall performance of the economy was moderated by the slowdown in the global economy in line with the slowdown in global trade activity,” he said in a statement today.

Azmin said domestic economic growth prospects for 2020 might be affected by the recent coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, which may cause global supply disruption.

The sectors that will be affected include tourism, transportation and manufacturing industries.

He said to mitigate the adverse impact and ensure continuation of the rakyat’s well-being, the government was taking proactive measures.

They are meant to boost domestic economic activity while also promote exports, especially for the healthcare, electricity and electronics, and pal oil related products.

“An economic stimulus package is being finalised to support economic growth while at the same time prioritising the well-being of the rakyat.

“The government will ensure that approved development projects for 2020, as well as new initiatives under the stimulus package, which will be introduced by end of February, to be implemented soon,” said Azmin.

He said in addition, the government's move to reduce toll rates and ensure a stable petrol price was expected to help ease the burden rakyat while strengthening domestic tourism.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s move to reduce the Overnight Policy Rate to 2.75 per cent on January 22 would also support the growth of the domestic economy this year, he added.