KUALA LUMPUR – Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, has denied opposition allegations that the government has failed to provide a good infrastructure to help people improve their economic status.
He said the government has so far provided training, loans and programmes in an effort to help the targeted groups increase their household incomes.
“The government also provides basic economic development facilities to develop the economy, but if a company is shut down due to weak management and irregular and inadequate supply, it is not from the government.
“There are many other factors that cause a retail business to be affected. If the country’s economy is not good, how will these retail outlets increase from 66,000 in 2016 to 73,000 in 2017,” he said at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Johari said this in reply to a supplementary question from Khalid Abdul Samad (Amanah-Shah Alam) who said the country’s economic development was focused only on several sectors and had no impact on the people.
Johari said despite opposition figures saying that the country’s economy was not in a good position, the figure on Malaysians spending abroad rose to RM46 billion in 2016 compared with RM41 billion in 2015.
“If our economy does not grow well, I think people cannot afford to go and spend abroad,” he said.
Johari said the closure of several retail business firms a few years ago was due to the rapid expansion of online business, which was compared to zero in the last 10 years to about 73 billion today.
On the issue of rising prices of freshwater fish recently, Johari said, fish prices, and some other daily prices such as petrol prices, were beyond the government’s control.
“The government provides facilities for fishermen to go fishing, such as subsidised oil. But there are days they will catch a lot of fish and other days otherwise. That’s the reason for the fish prices to go up and down and not because the government did not offer the help,” he said. – BERNAMA