Anwar announces 10-year economic recovery plan
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim recently announced a 10-year economic recovery plan entitled, “Madani” aimed at increasing gross personal incomes nationwide and increasing the participation of women in the Malaysian workforce. Politically, this plan will likely be taken into consideration in formulating future economic policy efforts to promote trade and attract investment.
In a speech to legislators on July 27th, Anwar stated that the Madani plan implementation will involve creation of opportunities for high paying work by the private sector, introduction of tax breaks on corporate incomes of such private sector companies, and reformation of stock market operations to maintain foreign investment flows. Policymakers anticipate that income, both personal and corporate, generated from this plan will lower Malaysia’s fiscal deficit to achieve a target of 3% or less of GDP and propel Malaysia to a top 25 human development index ranking.
In the past month, Malaysia has grappled with a weak currency market and volatility in trade volumes in its most lucrative sectors. As state elections approach, Anwar’s Unity government faces much criticism from opposition regarding such economic instabilities. The 10-year plan may be a means for Anwar to restore public confidence in the Unity government by ensuring a long-term break in the vicious circle of high commodity costs, low incomes, and lack of investment attraction.