At least a news that we can look forward to. IMF has forecasted that Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow by 9% in 2021. It will be the highest among ASEAN’s five countries. Having this coming from the IMF, it is surely a sight for the sore eyes.
Having braced for the impact of COVID-19, this sort of report could not come at a better time. The tumultuous political scene before the pandemic has put enough pressure on the country’s economy. Investors are holding their positions, as the political instability is sending mixed signals to them. There was a period of uncertainty when Tun M announced his resignation as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. With the COVID-19 threat looming in the horizon, and the void at the highest level of country administration, things certainly looked bleak for Malaysia.
The week towards the appointment of TSMY was marred with both sides were trying to strengthen their positions. Nonetheless, the wisdom of YDP prevailed and TSMY was picked as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
And surely, I am happy how things have turned out so far. He has been swift to react to the threat of COVID-19. A lot of initiatives were announced, and it was decided that we need to move into partial lockdown, a step that was criticized by many quarters, local and abroad. The partial lockdown has been effective so far in containing the infection of the virus. Malaysia has recorded one of the highest numbers of recovered cases in the world. And Singapore, having been critical our the decision, had to bow down and eat their earlier criticism. They have to push for statewide lockdown, as within a week, they have recorded high cases of infection.
No doubt, the rest of 2020 will be a challenging year. The negative rate of GDP is not something we can take lightly. Recent unemployment rate increases, shows we are just starting to feel the brunt of COVID-19. However, if the prediction of IMF is to be taken seriously, Malaysian can look forward to a faster recovery in the near future.