01/03/2024 12:22 PM

PUTRAJAYA, March 1 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants efforts to reduce the country's fiscal deficit to continue so that future generations will not be burdened.

He said continuous efforts and initiatives are important for the country to achieve a lower fiscal deficit target, while at the same time continuing to restore the confidence of domestic and foreign investors to invest here.

As of the end of December 2023, government debt totalled RM1.17 trillion or 64.3 per cent of the gross domestic product.

Debt growth in 2023 was 8.6 per cent, lower versus 10.2 per cent recorded in 2022.

"Investments in the country was at a record high due to the confidence of domestic and foreign investors; our inflation is also at a low level and the unemployment rate is also getting lower," he said at the 28th Revenue Day celebration here today.

Malaysia was previously reported to have recorded RM329.5 billion in approved investments in 2023, or  23 per cent higher than in 2022, making it the highest in the country's history.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has said that Malaysia's investment prospects are expected to remain bright this year with a minimum eight to 10 per cent growth.

Anwar said that although the country is being challenged by the fall in the value of the ringgit, he has emphasised to Bank Negara Malaysia to take appropriate measures to curb the local currency from continuing to fall via the Monetary Policy Committee.

"But it is inappropriate to link the (low) ringgit when our inflation is also at a low level.

"During the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, the value of the ringgit plummeted and inflation soared, investments did not come in, unemployment rose and the companies going bankrupt reached hundreds of thousands.

"This is not happening at the moment, so we have to look at the whole picture," he said.


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