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Monday, February 1, 2016

Malaysia Weekly Highlights



MALAYSIA's REVISED BUDGET 2016, GDP FORECAST TO 4% - 4.5%

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak had made the announcement on the recalibrated Budget 2016, to better reflect the current economic climate, given that oil price had dropped to the $30 dollar range. This was in comparison to the $48 USD assumption when the budget 2016 was announced last October.

PM Najib Razak on the recalibrated budget 2016

In the revised budget 2016, the 2016 economic growth forecast has been revised to 4%-4.5%, down from an earlier forecast of 4% to 5%. The fiscal deficit target of 3.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) was maintained.

Najib announced 11 measures to spur domestic consumption and increase growth, while saving some RM9 billion in operating and development expenditure. One of the highlights of the recalibrated budget is the optional 3% cut to the individual contribution to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for March 2016 to December 2017.

INFLATION RANGING FROM 2.5% to 35% in 2016

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti said last week that she expects inflation to range between 2.5% to 3.5% this year.

Inflation rose to 2.7% in December from a year earlier.

"We have to monitor if the depreciation of the currency will translate into higher prices but it does not look to be the case for now."

BANK NEGARA ISSUES WARNING TO LEMBAGA TABUNG HAJI

Lembaga Tabung Haji was issued a warning by Bank Negara Malaysia to further strengthen its risk management practices. A routine check found that the pilgrim fund has more liabilities than assets.

Lembaga Tabung Haji's negative reserves is a concern to Bank Negara Malaysia

In a statement last Tuesday following reports that Bank Negara had issued the warning to Lembaga Tabung Haji on its' negative reserves, Bank Negara said Lembaga Tabung Haji has proactively taken appropriate measures to further strengthen its' risk management practices.

NAJIB CLEARED OF RM2.6 BIL CASE

According to attorney-general (AG), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the RM2.6 bil case. This was after six months of investigation into the RM2.6 billion channeled into the PM's bank accounts and into Finance Ministry-owned firm, SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, told a packed press conference there was "insufficient evidence" to implicate the prime minister and on that basis, ordered the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to close its' investigation papers.

On this, the MACC said it was seeking a review of Apandi's decision, and would present its' investigation papers on Najib to the operations review panel, which monitors the anti-graft agency.

APRIL 30th for STATE POLL IN SARAWAK?

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said last Friday he has proposed to the Election Commission (EC) to hold the state polls on April 30th.

"I have chosen April as the election month, with the 18th as the nomination date, 30th as polling day and May 1st as our celebration day. This is my suggestion...now, let us wait for the EC to do the announcement," Adenan told Parti Persaka Bumiputera Bersatu members at a pre-election seminar in Satok, Kuching.



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