WHOEVER forms the new government after the 15th General Election (GE15) will face many developmental constraints, economic challenges and business issues.
The new government can ill afford a new honeymoon period, but will have to hit the ground running.
The deceleration in global economic growth will continue in 2023, as it continues to be buffeted by a prolonged period of shocks, disruptions and uncertainties: continued military conflicts in Ukraine; still high global inflation; tighter monetary policy; and the induced negative external spillover effects on the emerging markets via financial and trade channels.
The global economic trend growth rate is weakening rapidly, with the US economy and Europe anticipated to experience recessions and China’s economic growth to strengthen in 2023, assuming the government relaxes its “dynamic zero-Covid” strategy amid containing the property stress.
Businesses should prepare for continued volatility in the years ahead.
The Merdeka Centre had conducted a survey from Oct 19 to Oct 28 which indicated that among the top concerns for Malaysian voters was inflation (31%), followed by political instability (13%), corruption (12%) and enhancing economic growth (12%).
Five key areas
The new government should focus on five overlapping priority areas:
> Restoring governance effectiveness and accountability as well as fighting corruption;,
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> Sustaining the economy;
> Creating jobs and enhancing people’s income;
> Enhancing the nation’s competitive investment climate; and
> Promoting foreign and domestic investment.
To achieve this, the new administration must regain credibility and trust of our people, businesses and investors when it comes to the things that matter to Malaysians like building a sustainable and resilient economy, fixing the middle-income trap, dealing with inflation and rising cost-of-living burden, improving core services (housing, health, education, skill set training), making our community safer, and being inclusive and equitable for all regardless of race, religion and geographical location.
The immediate priority is to quickly approve the 2023 budget to ensure the smooth operation of the government administration.
Good execution of positive economic multiplier projects and programmes and credible policies to sustain Malaysia’s economic momentum is crucial.
This is vital as the risk of a global recession is mounting in 2023, especially in the US economy and Europe triggered by strong inflation and more aggressive interest rate hikes.
All these external headwinds, including the prolonged military conflict in Ukraine, would temper Malaysia’s exports and the ensuing negative spillover effects on the domestic economy via both the trade and financial channels.
Mitigating rising prices,
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