KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is confident policies implemented by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will eventually result in a stronger economy, despite international ratings firms projecting fiscal challenges following the reintroduction of the Sales and Services tax (SST).
The Minister of Economic Affairs said today that despite the country already facing fiscal challenges from the large national debt inherited from the previous administration, he is confident steps taken will see the economy bounce back.
“We have to be more prudent with expenditure, ensure transparency and integrity, use the principle of value for money, and practice open tenders.
“If we do all of these, I am confident international ratings agencies will take note of the efforts being done by the government and will score us better in their ratings,” he told reporters at SK Taman Melawati primary school this evening after handing over contributions to several schools to be used for structural upgrades.
His comments were in response to Moody’s Investor Service’s “Sovereigns Asia Pacific 2019 Outlook” report, which projected challenges for Malaysian government from the narrower tax base obtainable from the SST.
The report detailed that the government's focus on supporting growth and incomes of poorer households was a factor behind a slower fiscal consolidation path than what was previously projected.
Azmin added that he is confident PH’s policies and transparent administration would reignite interest from investors.
“If the administration itself is embattled with corruption and abuse of power, this will hamper the efforts in attracting investors, they (investors) surely will look at an administration that is good.
“That is why the Prime Minister himself is at the forefront of efforts in combating corruption on a large scale, introducing several initiatives to show the PH government is one that is transparent, and opposes corruption,” he said.
Azmin said such practices would most surely return the faith in investors to keep Malaysia as an investment hub.