KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 – UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi cited the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was reportedly shrunk 5.6 per cent in 2020, the worst since 1998 with the last annual GDP was reported to record a decline of -1.5 per cent at 2009.
Nevertheless, he said, the government today views GDP of -5.6 per cent in 2020 as a good development because the initial projection of the International Monetary Fund or IMF was -5.8 per cent.
“It’s hard to comprehend. People are buying time. They cannot wait for the next projection hoping it will be better,” he said in the latest Facebook posting, today.
Zahis who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said the impact of the micro-economy on the people is immediate and not accrued, thus leaving them in many predicaments.
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the causes of the economic downturn. Political instability is also among the factors for investors to shy away and relocate to other countries. Anyhow, with effective policies and planning, the direct impact can be minimized.
“However, what happened as of last December, a total of 772,900 were reported to have lost their jobs. I am worried the figure will increase. The question is, can they find job replacements if the economy doesn’t permit? Is it possible to optimise the agricultural sector to help them out?
Zahid stressed that it would be good if more financial assistance are provided to the people who want to cultivate crops.
“When other sectors are affected by COVID-19, the food-based and agricultural industries are always on good footing. If this is done, at least it will help out their economy as well as guarantee the country’s food security,” he said.