New Straits Times
Johari: Malaysians spent RM46 billion abroad in 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani denied that the country’s economy is in bad shape as Malaysians are going overseas and spending money.
He said that despite claims and allegations of sluggish economy, Malaysians spent a staggering RM46 billion in 2016 overseas.
This was an increase from RM41 billion spent outside the country in 2015.
“If the economy is not doing well, I don’t think people can af- ford to go overseas,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He, however, admitted that the issue of perception was important.
“(This happens) when the media picks up stories from retailers who complain of poor sales and profits despite the higher gross domestic product.”
He was replying to a question from Khalid Abdul Samad (PANShah Alam) on the recent claim by wholesale and retail group Mydin that the economy was in bad shape as people were spending less in hypermarkets.
He added that if a company or enterprise closed down due to poor management, disorderly supplies and could not compete commercially, it was not the fault of the government.
“If the economy was bad, how come there was an increase in retail sundry shops from 66,000 in 2016 to 73,000 last year?” he asked.
Johari said the closure of several retail businesses a few years ago was due to the rapid expansion of online businesses in the country.