Azmin pledges vigilance against economic headwinds

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will continue to be vigilant despite stronger growth in the gross domestic product in the second quarter this year, said Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Speaking at the World Statistics Congress here, Azmin said the GDP data also indicated that Malaysia’s economy remained resilient despite being exposed to global uncertainties.

“Malaysia had bucked the regional trend during the second quarter of 2019, as the economy experienced outstanding growth of 4.9%, supported by steady domestic demand, particularly private consumption and a strong recovery in the production of mining and quarrying sector.

“Nevertheless, we remain vigilant against any headwinds to come and will maintain fiscal discipline even as we do our best to spur growth,” he said.

He said that sound, relevant and timely statistics pave the way for policies and decisions formulation as well as guide the government to realign policies that are misguided or misconceived.

“We cannot overstress the importance of the integrity of data. But even more crucial is integrity in the implementation of policies,” he said.

Azmin said Malaysia might have the best-formulated policies founded on the most precise statistics, but without integrity, transparency and accountability in implementation, the final objectives would not be achieved.

“Hence, while statistics are the eyes of the country’s administration, good governance strikes at the heart of fulfilling the legitimate expectations of the people,” he said.

He also lauded the expertise of the Department of Statistics Malaysia which has been providing technical assistance in core areas to other countries while also benefiting from sharing of experiences and knowledge.