The Financial Times Interviews Former MAS Boss on Malaysia’s Public Finances

The interview below is by Financial Times’ Singapore and Malaysia correspondent, Jeremy Grant with Idris Jala, Malaysia’s minister from the prime minister’s department, and the former boss of Malaysia Airlines.

The brief interview at FT’s Asean Economic Summit touches on a number of issues concerning Malaysia’s efforts at tackling the fiscal deficit. Malaysia is one of the few governments in the region doing this.

According to Idris, over the last four years, Malaysia has gradually been subsidizing fuel subsidy, including sugar and electricity subsidy and more. He also says that the public accepts GST. Malaysia’s GST is set at 6%, whereas most Asian countries have their GST at 10%. The Malaysian government is also looking at ways to help and protect the poor.

Malaysia’s strategy in the last four years, according to Idris, has been to reduce dependence on oil and gas. From 40% it is now reduced to 30%. At 2009, Malaysia’s deficit stood at -6.6% and Malaysia plans to bring it down to 3.5%.

Watch the interview below to learn more.

Story and video from: Financial Times

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