Malaysia has once again slipped into a technical recession as its economy contracted by 4.5 percent in the third quarter of the year, said former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Najib linked the country’s economic performance to the seven-month nationwide emergency and suspension of Parliament during the tenure of former premier Muhyiddin Yassin.
“All neighbouring countries have completed reporting economic growth rates for the third quarter of 2021. Malaysia is the only country that has officially fallen into technical economic recession at this time.
“A technical recession means the economy of a country declined for two consecutive quarters,” Najib said on Facebook yesterday.
Malaysia has the worst economic growth rate for the same quarter among its neighbours, the former finance minister added.
“Indonesia’s economy grew by 3.5 percent, Singapore by 6.5 percent and the Philippines by 7.1 percent, while Thailand experienced a slight decline of 0.3 percent.
“This came after Malaysia become the only country in the world to declare an emergency to suspend Parliament on the grounds of combating Covid-19, but in fact, it (the emergency) was because they wanted to retain power,” Najib said, echoing the belief that Muhyiddin called the emergency because he was unable to command majority support in Parliament.
RM600b spent by government
The country already faced a technical recession in 2020 when the economy contracted substantially due to the movement control order (MCO). This included a massive contraction of 17.1 percent in the second quarter of last year.
“Despite the emergency, RM600 billion in funds was spent by the government and the half-baked lockdown devastated the people’s economy and small businesses. We recorded among the highest new Covid-19 cases and death rates in the region and world.
“The price of goods shot up due to the half-baked lockdown, so much so that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng understood.
“Please do not repeat this failure,” Najib said.
Yesterday, Lim asked Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi if he is prepared to resign if he could not reverse the soaring prices of basic necessities, such as vegetables increasing by more than 100 percent.
The DAP leader said the government must act to reduce the prices as not only the bottom 40 percent (B40) families are suffering but also those in the middle 40 percent income group. – Malaysiakini