Anticipating global slowdown, Rafizi’s ministry to launch scheme boosting B40 pay income

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The Ministry of Economy will launch a “Rakyat Income Initiative” this Sunday to try and raise earnings for lower-income groups to mitigate the effects of a slowing global economy, said Rafizi Ramli.

Aside from saying that Malaysia’s 2022 GDP growth of 8.7 per cent belied the reality for most Malaysians, the minister also pointed out the downward trajectory of the economy’s quarterly performance.

Rafizi said this required pre-emptive action to cushion Malaysia’s B40 household against the potential fallout, such as the initiative his ministry will launch on Feb 26.

“The global economy’s slower growth in 2023 will affect our country’s economic performance, as the global growth is expected to fall to 2.9 per cent this year compared to last year’s 3.4 per cent.

“And the government is aware that we need to be fully prepared to face this challenging economic environment,” said Rafizi in a statement released today.

He added that his ministry will adjust its focus in order to also give attention to growing the country’s economy alongside addressing Malaysia’s cost-of-living crisis as well as stagnant wages.

Malaysia recorded a full-year GDP growth figure of 8.7 per cent for 2022 — the highest in the country’s history — but some including Rafizi have stressed that it was crucial to consider the low-base effect due to the virtual halt of economic activities in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister has emphasised that on a quarterly basis, economic growth fell steadily from 3.8 per cent in the first quarter of last year to -2.6 per cent in the final three months of 2022.