PETALING JAYA: Former second finance minister Johari Ghani has told Perikatan Nasional MPs not to cherry-pick economic figures to paint a rosy picture of the administration they led.
“When we debate as MPs, we must be responsible,” Johari (BN-Titiwangsa) said in the Dewan Rakyat today.
“When we talk about the economy, we need to look at the figures in totality, not pick and choose them,” he said in response to opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin’s earlier remarks on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) mid-term review.
Hamzah (PN-Larut) had said the average annual GDP growth rate of 5.9% between 2021 and 2022 showed the economy was on the right track under the PN-led government.
He also claimed that Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration had laid the foundations for the country’s economic success. This included the economic growth of 8.7% recorded in 2022.
“But that figure is based on a low base effect,” Johari said, adding that unlike Singapore and Indonesia, Malaysia’s 2021 economic growth of 3.1% could not make up for the 5.5% decline it experienced in the preceding year.
In contrast, he said the economies of Singapore and Indonesia, which shrunk by 4.1% and 2.1% in 2020, grew by 7.6% and 3.7%, respectively, the following year.
Johari also pointed out that unemployment in Malaysia rose to 4.6% (730,000 people) in 2021. In 2022, it stood at 3.4% (581,000).
Meanwhile, Johari pointed out that the country’s debt rose to RM1.5 trillion, while the stock market saw a period of decline.
This is why economic figures must be looked at holistically, said Johari.
Source : FMT