We have the internal resilience to face future economic challenges

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 20th of June, 2019

Dr. KS Jomo’s remarks to reporters at the sidelines of the Malaysian Economic Convention 2019 on Monday, 17th of June, 2019 was widely reported in the press. Specifically, he mentioned that “This is going to be a very, very tough time because the external situation is very bad and is deteriorating almost on a daily basis” He also added that “many of these problems are beyond the control of the Malaysian government”.[1]

I concur with Dr. Jomo’s view that the external economic circumstances continue to be very challenging, especially in the light of recent developments in the US-China economic relationship. I also agree that many of these challenges are caused by factors beyond the control of the Malaysian government.

When the US-China trade war was restricted to the area of tariffs on goods and services, Malaysia could at least benefit from some short-run trade and investment diversions. This can mitigate some of the longer term negative consequences of the trade war. For example, NOMURA has estimated that Malaysia will be the 4th largest beneficiary of the US-China trade war as a result of trade diversion.[2]

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胜选概要选民预期随着投票率的降低,民主行动党将面临与第十四届全国大选相比下多数票减低或大约10,000张选票将减少的现象。。尽管如此,总投票率从第十四届全国大选的71.9%下降到补选中的54.4%,民主行动党成功把总选票率增加了7.4%, 与大选时期相比下的66.8%提高到了补选时的74.2%总选票率增加及独立候选人的出现虽然分散了大约5.1%的总投票率 (或来自沙巴团结党),民主行动党还是成功以以多数票11521在补选中胜出 (见表1)。

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National Implications of the Sandakan By-Election Results

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 13th of May, 2019

The Sandakan parliament by-election results provided a much needed morale booster to Pakatan Harapan (PH) after 3 successive by-election defeats in Cameron Highlands (parliament), Semenyih (state) and Rantau (state). Sandakan also provides some important lessons and implications for PH at the national level. To deliver Sandakan’s ‘winning formula’ to other parts of Malaysia is definitely more challenging but not impossible.

Summary of Results

The expectation was that with a reduced turnout, DAP would have its majority of approximately 10,000 votes from GE14 cut significantly. But despite overall turnout falling from 71.9% in GE14 to 54.4% in the by-election, DAP managed to increase its vote share by 7.4% from 66.8% in GE14 to 74.2% in the by-election. With this increase in vote share and the presence of independent candidates which siphoned away 5.1% of total votes (presumably from PBS), DAP was able to increase its majority to 11521 in the by-election (See Table 1).

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