Political uncertainties affect economy

Lim (centre) as he arrives at the DAP national headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The current political turmoil has affected the government’s efforts to improve the economy and livelihood of Malaysian businesses and the ordinary rakyat, says Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng.

“You can look at the stock market, you can judge it by yourself,” he said, when asked on how the situation would impact the economy during a press conference at the DAP National Headquarters here today.

 The local bourse continued to come under pressure due to uncertainties over the country’s political landscape, dragging the benchmark index down to its lowest level since December 2011.

At the close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 2.68 per cent or 41.14 points to 1,490.06 compared with Friday’s close of 1,531.20, while on the scoreboard, losers outpaced gainers 1,015 to 138, with 222 unchanged, 624 untraded and 21 suspended.  

Meanwhile, the ringgit fell to 4.2230 2270 at mid-afternoon against the US dollar from 4.1900/1940 recorded last Friday.

Lim (centre) as he arrives at the DAP national headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Bernama

“Why are you doing all this drama when our focus should be on making sure that we can improve our economy, especially in the face of the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and people’s livelihood?

“Let’s focus on that instead of self-gain,” said Lim, who is also the Finance Minister.

His press conference was held following the political uproar after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad tendered his resignation as the country’s prime minister to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 1pm today.

Dr Mahathir has also stepped down from his post as the chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

Following his resignation, the four-party Pakatan Harapan government coalition has practically collapsed.

Like many other countries, Malaysia is battling the odds to ensure economic growth.

While many issues that have been affecting global growth still unresolved, the world was hit with the Covid-19 outbreak.

The government was scheduled to announced the economic stimulus package this Thursday for the aviation, retailing and tourism sectors to mitigate the adverse repercussions of Covid-19, which originated from Wuhan, China.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that the epidemic could shave between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points off the global growth rate but noted that this could be followed by a sharp and rapid rebound.

Malaysia, as an open economy, is not isolated from these external developments, as the outbreak is expected to affect the country’s economic growth for the first quarter of this year. – Bernama