The economy may be slowing but a recession is not in the horizon

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 6th of January 2019

There seems to have been an increase in the number of opinion pieces and articles prognosticating a gloomy future for the Malaysian economy in 2019. While there are certainly economic challenges ahead driven by internal and external factors, the perception that the Malaysian economy will somehow crash and burn in 2019 is most certainly a false one. A closer examination of the underlying figures will demonstrate why this is the case.

Firstly, let’s look at the Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) which dropped to a low of 46.8 in December 2018.[1] The PMI data is an important leading indicator of economic activity in the manufacturing sector. A figure above 50 shows that managers are increasing their orders and economic output whereas a figure below 50 shows that managers are depleting their existing stocks and not expecting to increase their future economic activity.

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2019年提醒事项与决意

临近2018年之际,我将自己担任了国际贸易及工业副部长5个月的观察心得,用来记录了10项对自己的提醒事项。此外,我也针对自己的部门补充了一些展望2019年决意。

1)永远别忘记希望联盟的第14届大选宣言

目前,第14届希盟大选宣言成为了希望联盟政府施政的唯一指导及参考指南。虽然首相及其内阁团队在制定任何的新政策前都必须考量政治现实及国内的经济环境,但这不意味着我们就得乖离希望联盟宣言的核心精神,包括致力于更透明化的施政,推行制度改革,打造更有竞争力的经济体及照顾被边缘化群体的需求。

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Reminders and Resolutions for 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, I thought it would be a useful exercise to list down ten reminders for myself based on my 5 months as the Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI). These reminders also double up as my resolutions for 2019 in so far as my Ministry duties are concerned.

1)      DO NOT forget the GE14 Pakatan Harapan (PH) Manifesto

The GE14 PH Manifesto is, currently,  the only guiding document and reference point for the PH government in terms of governing philosophy and objectives. While the Prime Minister and his cabinet have and will come up with new policy decisions based on current political and economic circumstances, we cannot and should not depart from the core principles of the PH Manifesto which includes a commitment to greater transparency, institutional reform, a more competitive economy and looking after the needs of the marginalized.

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