PETALING JAYA: The manufacturing and construction sectors are two industries that contributed significantly to the country's 5.8% economic growth in the second quarter this year, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister commended the industry players for their contribution to the country's achievement in terms of the increase in the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
"Bank Negara announced today that in the second quarter, we have beaten all our expectations with a growth of 5.8% and in fact for the first quarter of 2017, we registered a growth of 5.6%.
"Just yesterday (Thursday), Fitch Ratings reaffirmed our country's rating with 'Stable Outlook', citing our strong GDP growth, sustained current account surpluses and the country's net external creditor position as key drivers," he said in his speech during the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) 63rd anniversary dinner celebration here Friday night.
Najib also urged Malaysians not to listen to those who spread fake news about the country, saying that the most recent report by the World Bank concluded that the Malaysian economy is progressing from a position of strength.
Najib stressed that ever since the Government set out the Economic Transformation Programme in 2010, the country has enjoyed healthy levels of growth despite years of considerable global turbulence.
"Our gross national income has gone up by 51.8%, 2.26 million jobs were created, unemployment and inflation were kept at low levels and the deficit has steadily reduced.
"Both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have raised their predictions for growth in the Malaysian economy this year to nearly 5% and that figure is expected to rise further next year," he said.
Najib also gave his assurance that the Government will ensure a minimum of 30% involvement for local contractors in projects that involve foreign contractors.
"MBAM plays a key role in our construction sector, which is expected to grow by 8% this year and to continue registering a robust growth over the next five years, boosted in part by the infrastructure projects the Government is implementing across the country.
"These projects will provide new jobs, raise wages, enable skill transfers, increase connectivity and will have a real and transformative effect for Malaysians," said Najib, adding that the projects included the East Coast Rail Line, the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, the MRT Line 2 and 3, the LRT Line 2 and 3, the Pan Borneo Highway, KL118 and the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development Project in Johor.
Najib also said the Government will continue to ensure that the entire ecosystem of Malaysian contractors, be it from Grade G7 to G1, will be able to benefit from the economic spillover generated by the construction of the large scale infrastructure projects.
Present during the dinner were International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and MBAM president Foo Chek Lee.