KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia’s economy is sustainable at the core, rebuffing allegation that the country’s economy was in trouble.
He said the Islamic capital market registered a steady growth of 6.7 per cent last year, retaining its overwhelming lead in the global sukuk arena while the world’s longest bull market continued at Bursa Malaysia, aided according to some, by the Cabinet reshuffle on July 28 last year.
He said the ringgit is Asia’s best performing currency year to-date.
“This may surprise my political opponents, who said that if I continued in my job the ringgit would fall to 4.80 to the dollar. Now it’s 3.88 to the dollar,” he said at Invest Malaysia 2016 here today.
Najib said:”Some, who are against their own principles, even asked for foreign intervention while some who ought to know better have been talking Malaysia down.
“But they have their own agenda and personal interest, which they have placed above the interest of the country. To them, damage to the country is just collateral. To them, the end always justifies the means.”
Najib said this rebuked those who have been airing all sorts of wild allegations, including about 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
He added that the Public Accounts Committee, which recently submitted its report to Parliament, not only identified weaknesses in 1MDB’s structure and management but also showed that the allegations of RM42 billion going missing, as some claimed, were false.
The Prime Minister said the reality is that there is a rationalisation process and it is working. Substantial debts have already been cleared.
“In the years to come, they will be the real legacy of 1MDB and history will show that the shameful politically-motivated allegations made to unseat a democratically-elected government were false,” he added.
Najib said all the facts have proven the sceptics wrong and it is time to move on and refocus on further strengthening Malaysia’s economy.
On a another development, Najib said beginning this year, it will be mandatory for public-listed companies to disclose, in their annual reports, the gender representation of their board members and key senior management.
He said the Securities Commission is currently working on strengthening its recommendations on gender diversity under the revision being made by the Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance which would be released later this year.
Najib also called on the capital market to take the lead in developing capacity and capability building programmes in order to accelerate Malaysia’s achievements in gender diversity.
He suggested that at least 100 capital market women take up board positions after the first year of the programme.
“I am delighted to be able to say this, right now, in order to achieve our goal of women making up 30 per cent of the boards of the top 100 companies in Malaysia, we only need another 130 women. So, start hiring,” he said.