KUALA LUMPUR — July 23, 2018: With Malaysia’s economy in a good shape, AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes wants the government to focus on growth instead of austerity.
The focus should be on the government increasing efficiency and productivity in order to grow jobs and be a driving force in Asean.
“Focus on those industries that can bring income quick, and technology and ideas that can bring big growth (for the country),” he commented in his latest tweet.
Fernandes said having economic growth would also enable the government to handle its debt and believes that the ringgit will strengthen to about 3.80 against the US dollar soon.
Bank Negara Malaysia had announced that national debt totalled RM686.8 billion as at end of 2017 or equivalent to 50.8 per cent of the gross domestic product but Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng later put the total at RM1.08 trillion after including government guarantees and contingent liabilities.
The extras from Guan Eng included RM201.4 billion in lease payments for rental, maintenance and other charges for public-private partnership projects such as the construction of schools, hostels, roads, police stations and hospitals.
In the Dewan Rakyat today, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said the government was considering securing a loan from Japan to reduce the high cost of money as the interest rate of 6 per cent on debts taken by the previous administration was too high. — Bernama