The Malaysian Government has yet to decide which projects would be postponed to address the narrowing of the country’s current account surplus on the balance of payments and high fiscal debt

Updated: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 9:19:16 AM

Government will review projects


MRT lines 1,2 and 3 unaffected and will proceed as planned

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has yet to decide which projects would be postponed, but maintained that the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project would proceed as planned, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said the Government, in addressing the narrowing of the country’s current account surplus on the balance of payments, would consider carefully the public sector projects to be undertaken.“Projects with low import content and high-multiplier effects would be given priority, without jeopardising economic growth. However, projects with high import components would be sequenced accordingly.

“The MRT lines 1, 2 and 3 would proceed as planned,” Najib said at a press conference to announce the Government’s subsidy rationalisation yesterday.

Also present at the event were Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

Najib said the Government might reschedule some of these projects, but did not name any.

On the high-speed rail (HSR) link between Malaysia and Singapore, Najib said the project was “still under negotiations”.

Earlier, analysts had said that there was a high possibility that the Government would reschedule the multi-billion-ringgit HSR project. The Land Public Transport Commission has been carrying out a study on the HSR project. The study includes a detailed assessment on the technical and engineering aspects, cost, financial and operations, and benefits of the project.

On the fiscal deficit, he said the Government’s target was 3% of gross domestic product by 2015. “The ringgit’s slide is a reflection of the external economy and woes beyond our control and it is not giving us undue stress,” Najib said when asked on the lower ringgit.

The ringgit has depreciated by about 8% year-to-date. It reached a fresh three-year low of 3.34 against the US dollar last week.

The ringgit’s slide is a reflection of the external economy and woes beyond our control and it is not giving us undue stress, says Najib.

Najib also announced that a subsidy rationalisation would be carried out in stages. In the first steps, he said, the prices of the RON95 petrol and diesel would be increased by 20 sen per litre, effective today. Najib said the Government’s total fuel subsidy allocation for 2013 was RM24.8bil. The reduction of subsidy would save the Government RM3.3bil per annum, he added.

However, he said given that it would only be implemented today, it would save some RM1.1bil.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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