Published: Thursday February 7, 2013 MYT 3:39:00 PM

Malaysia's economy grew at 5% or more in 2012: Ahmad Husni

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's gross domestic product growth will reach 5% or more in 2012, surpassing the projected target of between 4.5% and 5%.

Second Finance Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said on Thursday the fiscal deficit was expected to be 4.5%, better than the full-year target of 4.7%, given the federal government's prudent spending and increasing revenue.

"The Economic Transformation Programme including the strategic reform initiatives, which is part of our revenue, has managed to increase revenue and as a result, decrease the deficit," he told reporters at the inaugural Treasury Economic Forum 2013 here.

In the first three quarters of 2012, Malaysia's economy expanded by 5.3 per cent, Ahmad Husni said, adding many foreign leaders were impressed with the country's economic management.

"Many countries want to know how we did it. Some countries have already sent their team to learn how we came up with a very comprehensive development plan particularly the transformation programme," he said.

In another development, the minister said the government has decided that registration for the 2.0 One Malaysia People's Aid (BRIM 2.0) will close on March 15 to ensure every eligible applicant obtains the aid in line with its objectives.

"We know the cost of food has increased, that's why we give this incentive to the people who are eligible. At the same time, it indirectly helps increase consumption in our country, boosting domestic demand and contributing to economic growth," he said.

Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Husni said "Najibnomics" is a set of economic policies that deliver, namely Government, Economic and Political Transformation Programmes which are consolidated under the National Transformation Policy.

He said it is a series of mutually-supporting fiscal, administrative and infrastructural policies and measures, including the various transformation programmes that deliver a tangible and effective impact to the people and the business community.

The final step in Malaysia's transformation journey is to introduce the Social Transformation Programme, which the Prime Minister himself described as the biggest challenge, he said.

Ahmad Husni said "this comprehensive change in our society will take a longer time to be achieved" and researchers as well as thinkers are formulating ideas to map out this inevitable change. - Bernama

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