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Don’t need alternative economic plans: Amirsham

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Oct 2008: The government does not need alternative plans to mitigate the economic uncertainties but will instead utilise plans in hand to spur economic growth and woo investments, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Amirsham A. Aziz said the government would pursue the expansionary budget policy to stimulate economic growth and not to shrink the economy.

“Malaysia is not affected by the financial meltdown (in the US and Europe). Our financial system is still strong and credit transactions are going on smoothly (in the country),” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Prof Dr P Ramasamy (DAP-Batu Kawan) during question time.

Earlier, replying to Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom), Amirsham said Budget 2009 could generate vigorous domestic demand, attract investments and bolster industrial activities that can yield higher income for the people.

Even though Budget 2009 was an expansionary budget, it was still under control with a low national debt rate at 32.6% to the Gross Domestic Product this year and low foreign debt service ratio at 3.8%, he said.

“The country’s banking system is still strong, credit facilities are still available, liquidity is high and … non-performing loans [are] below 2.5%.

“Bank Negara and the Finance Ministry are closely monitoring the financial sector and instituting proactive measures to pre-empt external developments, including a global financial crisis, from impacting the country’s financial system,” said the former president and chief executive officer of Maybank.

Nonetheless, Amirsham did not deny that Malaysia, being an open economy, could not avert the direct and indirect impact of the global economic and financial situation.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday fresh pre-emptive measures in the form of a “stabilisation plan” would be decided and announced on 20 Oct. — Bernama


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