Economic crisis team? We’ll form one if need arises, Guan Eng says

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during the National Economic Forum 2019 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during the National Economic Forum 2019 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, August 29 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that if there is a real economic crisis, the government will form an economic crisis management team to weather its effects.

Responding to a suggestion by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the Bagan MP pointed out that the government currently has the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) in place.

“I think if there is a crisis then I think we will come to it, but now we have the NEAC, of which she is a member. We can definitely hear the views expressed.

“I think we must also understand that these (economic slowdown) are all external (factors) and it’s not just Malaysia alone, but every other country so I think we know what is the root cause.

“What we can do is try to mitigate the (negative) effects (of the US-China trade war) and also hope there is some resolutions, who knows,” Lim told reporters at the National Economic Forum 2019 today.

Rafidah Aziz had said Putrajaya must form a crisis management team to take pre-emptive measures in order to weather the forecasted economic headwinds.

During his question and answer session earlier, he voiced his confidence that there will be no global economic crisis, but admits that there is a risk of economic slowdown because of the trade war.

At the same time he said that there are multilateral institutions where countries will come together to provide emergency funding in the event of such a crisis.

He also admitted that there is a need for an expansionary budget to mitigate the effects of the trade war.

Touching on GST refunds, Lim said that Putrajaya has paid off RM24.7 billion as of June 2019 to various taxpayers and he expects to completely pay off the remaining RM37 billion.

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