Acid test of 1998 Budget is whether it could restore confidence in the economy and enable Malaysia to emerge from the twin ringgit and capital crisis with stronger fundamentals


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The acid test of the 1998 Budget is whether it could restore investor confidence to address the twin ringgit and stock market crisis.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had recognised this when in his budget speech yesterday, he stressed that "The major challenge facing the economy is restoring economic stability and confidence in the economy".

Although the local mass media had glowing headlines for the 1998 budget, like the New Straits Times headline "A confidence boosting national Budget for 1998", the Star headline "Good Mix - Anwar unveils confidence-boosting measures", the Sun headline "Confidence boost" and the Business Times headline "A necessary prescription", a different chord is highlighted by foreign newspapers.

For instance, the Singapore Business Times today carries the headline "Anwar’s austerity budget fails to impress", with the following report:

Anwar should give serious consideration to these negative reactions to the 1998 as they are critical in determining as to whether the 1998 budget could succeed in its major challenge to restore economic stability and confidence in the economy and enable Malaysia to emerge from the twin currency and capital crisis with stronger fundamentals.

(18/10/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong