Tightening of the belt
Economic issues, both locally and globally, took centre stage in 2013. On the domestic front, Barisan nasional’s return to power in the most fiercely-fought GE in May was a turning point for the stock market, rallying to several new highs after that to emerge as the best performing bourse in the region at the close of the year. Fiscal discipline was the key theme in this year’s budget, which saw less popular measures announced to reduce the budget deficit and address the shrinking trade surplus. Moving forward, the year 2014 would be much about administering the bitter medicine of reforms and for consumers a year of tightening of the belt.