Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Zafrul hits out at PH leaders over conflicting stands on Fitch Ratings

Finance minister says Fitch Ratings has also acknowledged government efforts despite the lower rating.

Other News

SolarWinds hack required massive, sophisticated effort, says Microsoft head

Microsoft, one of more than 100 companies attacked and 18,000 left vulnerable by the hack, has analysed the work it took to insert malware into widely used security software created by SolarWinds.

AstraZeneca EU supply chain shortfall continues in second quarter

The British-Swedish company had sparked fury among European leaders by announcing that it would miss its target of supplying the EU with 400 million doses, due to a shortfall at the firm's European plants.

Israel sends vaccine ‘gifts’ to friendly nations

But the right-wing premier, who describes Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s 'undivided capital', cheers nations that conduct diplomacy with Israel from the disputed city.

Dari pedalaman

Aku tidak ada hak menumpahkan suku darah keturunan Biduanda kepada anak aku.

Rising violence mars start of Afghanistan’s Covid-19 vaccination drive

Taliban insurgents fighting the government have announced their backing for the vaccination campaign.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz has taken to task opposition leaders for citing the Fitch Ratings’ latest downgrade on Malaysia to attack the government, calling them irresponsible for politicising the issue.

Zafrul said Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders were also misinterpreting Fitch’s revised rating of Malaysia’s Long Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) on Dec 4 from A- to BBB+, adding that he was not surprised the issue had been turned into political rhetoric.

He said Malaysia is not alone in the downgrade of its rating, joining 100 other countries such as Britain, Hong Kong, Chile and Laos.

He said opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had said in August that the rating should not be a concern as the focus should be on revitalising economic growth.

In the same month, he added, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng had urged the government to spend more during the Covid-19 pandemic despite an increase in fiscal debts.

Zafrul was responding to PH leaders’ statement on Monday, saying the Fitch downgrade points to a greater urgency for a no-confidence motion against the government in the Dewan Rakyat.

“We find it difficult to understand that only yesterday they asked that we do not be too concerned with ratings and debt, yet today they are hitting out at the government for the drop in rating,” Zafrul said in a Facebook post.

Zafrul said Fitch in its report had made it clear that despite the lower rating blamed on political uncertainty, the firm acknowledged the government’s efforts.

He added that the government has projected economic growth of between 6.5% and 7.5% next year.

“PH claims this projection is too optimistic, but Fitch Ratings itself projected a growth rate of 6.7% in line with that of our own.

“Other institutions such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) projected up to 7.8%, higher than the government’s.

“This shows confidence in the rebound of Malaysia’s economy,” he said.

He also pointed out that despite the downgrade, Fitch had given an improved outlook from negative to stable.

Zafrul said the public would question the conflicting statements from PH leaders, saying the opposition must make clear whether it is more concerned about ratings or spending for the people.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/malaysianow

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Hong Kong to disqualify disloyal politicians, officials

A list of offences includes acts that endanger national security, advocating for independence or refusing to accept China's sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Economy to recover this year on effective vaccine deployment, says World Bank

The World Bank expects Malaysia's economic growth this year to range from 5.6 to 6.7%.

Pressure builds to drop Tajuddin as election director as Umno feels GE15 heat

Talk of an end to his role is fuelled by reported unhappiness over his criticism of other bureaus in the party and a failure to retain Umno's allies.

China overtakes US to become Europe’s biggest trading partner in a lacklustre 2020

Trade with most of Europe's major partners declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic but China was able to defy that trend.

Jaguar Land Rover to cut 2,000 jobs globally

Jaguar Land Rover has almost 40,000 employees worldwide, according to its 2019-20 annual report.