New govt prioritises improving the country's financial position

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Bernama) -- Strengthening the country's financial position is the priority of the Pakatan Harapan government, whereby non-transparent financial practices would be halted and leakages tackled at all levels, said Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He said drastic short-term measures must be taken to restore the country's financial position, including curbing the government's operating expenditure, as well as, reviewing all development projects that were not sustainable, necessary or urgent.

"Government debt will be restructured to reduce exposure to financial risks. The country faces challenges to strengthen its fiscal position, as well as, to maintain economic growth in the future," he said in a statement today.

Azmin said these two objectives must be balanced in order to ensure continued and inclusive development.

Although the government was actively implementing initiatives to strengthen the fiscal position currently, the government would not ignore the socio-economic growth objective, he assured.

At the same time, the minister said, the government would continue development projects which have a high economic impact and improved public welfare.

"The government is also seriously looking at narrowing development gaps between states regardless of political stance, and we will take decisive steps to reduce income gaps, especially for the B40 segment," he added.

Azmin said the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) Mid-Term Review: New Direction (2018 - 2020) would be tabled by year-end during the second meeting of the 14th Parliament's first session.

"This will be prepared based on the new government's economic direction in line with the Pakatan Harapan's manifesto, which focuses on a free market and investor-friendly economy, as well as, on a humanitarian economy with social justice programmes at the core.

"Progressive socio-economic policies will be introduced in the 11MP to complete the government's initiatives to strengthen its financial position and make institutional reforms.

"As a result, Malaysia will be reborn as a developed nation that is respected and held in high esteem in line with Vision 2020 goals," he added.