Finance minister: Malaysia in strong fiscal position, markets need cash injection to stimulate economy

R. Loheswar
Tengku Zafrul is confident liquidity is still present in Malaysia's financial markets. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz is confident of Malaysia’s ability to bounce back from an economic downturn caused by the outbreak of Covid-19.

He said the existing financial system will be able to lift the market as liquidity is still high.

“It’s all about agility,” Tengku Zafrul said during an interview with Astro Awani tonight.

“I’m confident the financial system can support us as liquidity is still present in financial markets and that’s the reason why we are able to offer this huge financial package which amounts to RM250 billion.

“Our fiscal position is strong and, in these three to six months, more companies will start thinking outside the box.”

The former CIMB Group CEO said the crisis was on the rise when he took over the finance portfolio 17 days ago.

Tengku Zafrul admitted that both he and those in the ministry are very worried about the state of the economy.

However, he said the solution is to put money in the pockets of Malaysians and make sure the economy continues to flow.

“We are an open trading economy in an unprecedented situation, one that the whole world has not dealt with.

“The solution must not be a ‘business as usual’ one. The important thing to do is to kickstart the economy with fiscal injections and the package announced by the government today does just that,” he added.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a RM250 billion economic stimulus package known as the 'Prihatin Rakyat' Package that is said to benefit all Malaysians.

Some RM128 billion has been earmarked to protect the welfare of the people, while RM100 billion is to support businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


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