At the dewan rakyat
Malaysians spent a whopping RM46bil abroad in 2016, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
He said this amount was an increase of RM5bil compared to 2015.
“We make lot of noise (about the economy) but Malaysians are still travelling abroad and spending.
“If the economy is not doing well, I don’t think people can afford to go overseas,” he said when answering a supplementary question by Datuk Abd Latiff Ahmad (BN-Mersing).
Johari said the issue of rising cost of living was a perception created by the Opposition, slanted economic experts and biased media reports.
He cited the example where the media picks up a story of retailers closing shop and complaining of no growth and poor sales despite positive economic growth.
He said the figures reveal healthy retail chain growth over the last two years.
“In 2016, there were 66,000 retail outlets which grew to 73,000 outlets in 2017,” he said.
Johari noted that the advent of online shopping was also a factor affecting retail businesses.
“Last year, Malaysians spent RM73bil shopping online.”
To a question by Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh), Johari told the House that the impact of rising global oil prices on national revenue will only be known after one year.
He said petroleum revenue for Budget 2018 was RM37.8bil based on world crude oil price of US$52 per barrel.
However, he said between Jan 1 and Feb 23 this year, average global oil price was US$67.15 per barrel.
He said the final calculation on petroleum revenue will be based on yearly average of global oil price.