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(File pix) Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. Pix by NSTP/Asyraf Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR: Economic indicators are very encouraging despite the Pakatan Harapan government being a new government, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Among others, he pointed out that Malaysia’s foreign direct investment increased by 250 per cent to RM49 billion in the first nine months of 2018 while exports rose to a record of RM96.4 billion.

Inflation, meanwhile, was at a low of 1.2 per cent in the first nine month of 2018, Lim said.

“We must bear in mind that the global economy situation is facing more severe challenges compared with those faced by us in Malaysia; therefore, we are convinced that if the rakyat are united, regardless of race, religion or background, we will be strong and stable as a nation in overcoming all future economic challenges,” he said in a 2019 new year speech on the Finance Ministry's Facebook page today.

According to him, the Pakatan Harapan government aims to fulfill the rakyat’s aspirations to the best of its ability.

Lim said the government aimed to improve welfare schemes such as the Health Protection Fund, which allows an individual in the Bottom 40 per cent (B40) segment who is admitted to a government hospital to apply for payment of RM50 per day for a maximum period of 14 days in a yea,r or the equivalent of RM700.

“The economic well-being of the rakyat will continue to be emphasised by the government, as the government will continue to provide aid to the Felda settlers, the rubber tappers, and those who are working in small towns and cities.

“We are the government for all Malaysian citizens. A new year calls for a new aspirations for all, and let us together make 2019 not just a year for Malaysia to recover but one that provides a beacon of hope for our children.

"Happy new year 2019,” he added. — Bernama

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