Malaysia will get the taste of the deteriorating economic climate but the country is strong enough to withstand recession from slipping in.
Those are the words from the Second Finance Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcob, who is optimistic enough that Malaysia will not join the likes of Singapore and Japan, which have both plunged into technical recession.
Despite being the wealthiest nation in South East Asia (SEA), Singapore became the first country in Asia to enter recession, as it suffered massive drop in its export business.
While the statement Second Finance Minister may be soothing, a survey by Citigroup Global Market however indicated that Malaysia is likely to slide into technical recession, with negative GDP contraction expected on the last quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009.
Judging by his recent statements, it will probably be difficult for many to be convinced of Nor Yakcob’s stands on few things, which seem contradictory to the real scenario. In November 2008, he made an assuring statement that the Malaysia’s unemployment rate will not go beyond the 4%, even though companies were beginning to retrench people.
However, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) did not agree with the statement by saying that the country’s unemployment rate is in danger of rising and may even hit 4.5% figure in the year 2009. The country’s jobless rate now is fluctuating around 3.5% figure.