KUALA LUMPUR, August 29 — National Economic Action Council member Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said Putrajaya must form a crisis management team to take preemptive measures in order to weather the forecasted economic headwinds.

The New Straits Times reported Rafidah as saying any slowdown in the economy that is driven by external factors should be countered with proactive actions.

“There are economic disputes, even political disputes. Countries will be affected directly and indirectly. There’s no doubt about (that) because we are exposed to the international environment, including the economic trading infrastructure, investments.

“So we should think ahead. I prefer to use the word preemptive so that we won’t be caught unawares (should a recession occur). We are aware of what is currently happening and take action the soonest.

“This is so that it’s easier to manage and see the trend of where the headwinds are coming and what nature because it’s evolving.

“Should it turn into a full-scale economic crisis, we are prepared not just at the government level but also in the private sector (level). This is because our economy is driven by the private sector,” she was quoted saying by the English daily.

Rafidah said the team, which she said would be proposed to the government soon, should engage industries to find out the challenges faced as well as to find solutions to manage them.

She said the economic action plan’s role should be more towards policies while the crisis management team would look at how to manage the challenges.

“Collaborative efforts should be made to ensure that as stakeholders, we are able to manage it in the short term and, if necessary, over the long term,” said the former Federal minister.

It was reported that economists had previously warned of a possible global recession next year, which is expected to have an adverse impact on open economies like Malaysia.