KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew from RM528 billion in 2009 to RM877 billion in 2015 through various initiatives under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Under Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak’s leadership, the economy expanded from 1.9 per cent in 2009 to 6 per cent in 2014 amid a global economic slowdown and other challenges.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF), in a statement today, took FinanceAsia e-magazine to task for its article titled “Najib Razak: Asia’s Worst Finance Minister 2016”.
The MoF said it was unethical for the e-magazine to make a judgment based on developments within 12 months, backed by baseless and biased allegations.
It said on the contrary, Malaysia was expected to register a growth of between 4.5 and 5.5 per cent in 2015, while its unemployment rate declined from 4.5 to 3.0 per cent with 1.8 million new jobs created.
The per capita income increased from RM24,541 to RM33,572, while the fiscal deficit dropped from 6.7 to 3.2 per cent.
“Despite uncertainty in the global economy, Malaysia is optimistic of attaining its GDP target of 4.5 per cent this year.
“If Malaysia could register a 4.5 per cent growth amid the economic slowdown, it would imply that Malaysia’s economy is still strong compared with other Asian countries,” it added.
Questioning FinanceAsia’s motive in posting the article, which suggested that Malaysia was in the doldrums, the MoF said the report was callously released to increase the e-magazine’s readership.
This is because in last year’s issue, the e-magazine had ranked Najib eighth among finance ministers of the Asia-Pacific Region’s 12 largest economies, the MoF added.
“As Asia has 48 countries, does being in the 12th position make Najib the worst finance minister in the region?” the MoF said.
It said the preponderance of making Malaysia, under the Najib administration, the target of untoward criticisms was worrying as it seemed to imply that it is not a stable country.