Malaysia unveils record 2019 budget

Published: November 02, 2018 19:24:13 | Updated: November 21, 2018 20:40:28

Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng delivering the budget speech in parliament on Friday (Nov 2)

Malaysia's new government has unveiled a record budget for 2019 despite battling a huge national debt, with new tax measures and increased dividends from national oil company Petronas intended to plug the country's fiscal deficit.

The budget, the first under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad since his alliance won May's general election, forecasts that the fiscal deficit will widen to 3.7 per cent of gross domestic product this year, up from 2.8 per cent targeted by the previous administration. Economic growth is to slow to 4.8 per cent from 5.9 per cent in 2017.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the deficit will narrow to 3.4 percent next year and 3 percent in 2020.

He said Friday the 2019 budget will be a record 314.6 billion ringgit ($75.6 billion), up 8.0 per cent from this year, reports AP.

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