Malaysia able to overcome global financial crisis

Malaysia and some Asean countries will be able to overcome the global financial crisis because their economies are resilient, supported by pro-growth and proactive policies, a visiting don said.

Siva Muthaly, an associate professor of international marketing at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, commended the Malaysian Government for stimulating economic growth that he said would trickle down to the masses.

Finance minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak unveiled recently a RM7bil programme to support the economy amid the global economic slowdown.

“The Government’s response to the global financial crisis will encourage domestic spending and also strengthen the infrastructure in education, transport and construction industry,” said Siva, who was attending a four-day research workship organised by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. “The move to boost spending will increase economic activity and attract investors and it will help kick start ailing industries.”

Malaysians should adopt more belt tightening measures in extraordinary times compared to developed nations which have spent extravagantly on credit cards and taking out sub-prime loans, he said.

“More aggressive prudent economic policies should be introduced to boost consumer and business confidence periodically, perhaps in January next year rather than a one-off stimulus package,” Siva said.

He said the stimulus package should be implemented speedily, and equitably to reduce the burden on Malaysians and to reinforce private sector confidence.

Once the private investments increase in Malaysia it would enhance consumer confidence and sustain the economy to face the external economic pressures, he added.

Siva noted that Malaysia successfully weathered the 1997 Asian financial crisis by implementing belt tightening measures and entrepreneurial initiatives.