PUTRAJAYA, 3 Nov 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today urged the people to have confidence in the country’s capacity to face the challenges brought on by the current global financial turmoil.
He said the country cannot escape the impact of the crisis but that did not mean the people must allow themselves to get carried away by fear and worry.
“All of this started with the financial crisis in the United States, which is now in recession along with Europe. This is a cause for worry because ours is an open economy.
“We have economic links with other countries and more so with the US and Europe,” he said in his address at the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister’s Department, here. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was also present at the event.
“All of this originated from them, but we have to look at ourselves. We do not have to be carried away by fear and worry. We must have confidence, the confidence to face the challenges,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah said that in the wake of the financial and banking crises of the US having a negative effect on other regions such as Europe, the people should be thankful that the country’s banking industry was still strong in terms of capital and liquidity.
“We are also strong in terms of our reserves, which can sustain at the moment. We still have strength in terms of domestic consumption, and our savings are high,” he said.
Abdullah said he wanted banks to be prepared to provide reasonable loans to enable national development to continue unabated for the implementation of important projects and to give domestic investments a boost.
“All these will take place if there is confidence,” he said, adding that the people must be convinced that whatever they implemented would be successful.
Abdullah said the Malaysian currency was stable and not volatile so as to cause worry, and the country had developing sectors such as tourism, Islamic banking, biotechnology and ICT.
Abdullah also said that Najib, who is also the finance minister, would announce in parliament tomorrow several measures the government would take to face the effects of the global financial turmoil.
“These (measures) will give us confidence to face the challenges and convince us that we have the capacity and capability to at least shield our economy from the undesirable effects.
“We must lessen the impact of the undesirable effects by encouraging investment and focusing on the developing sectors which can be given a boost for expansion, even if it’s just a little,” he said.
Abdullah said civil servants should convince investors that they would face no difficulty when investing in the country, particularly in terms of bureaucratic red tape, because this would ensure that the country remained their preferred choice for investment. — Bernama