Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Malaysia is number 31 in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom

Salleh Said Keruak

This is what the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom reported:

“Malaysia’s economic freedom score is 70.8, making its economy the 31st freest in the 2015 Index. Its score has increased by 1.2 points since last year, with improvements in freedom from corruption, business freedom, and trade freedom outweighing declines in labour freedom and the management of government spending. Malaysia is ranked 8th out of 42 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is above the world and regional averages.

Malaysia has risen to the ‘mostly free’ category. Since 2011, its economic freedom has advanced by 4.5 points, the third largest point increase in the Asia–Pacific region. Gains in six of the 10 economic freedoms have been led by double-digit increases in investment, financial, and business freedoms.”

There are only five countries in the ‘free’ category and 29 in the ‘mostly free’ category, which is the category Malaysia is in. The balance of the 150 countries are in the ‘moderately free’ and ‘mostly unfree’ categories.

In Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Economic Stimulus Package that was announced yesterday, he suggested that GLCs that have invested in properties overseas should divest their holdings and bring the money back to Malaysia.

It is not known yet how much this would come to but based on the increase in property values and the exchange gain, the GLCs would see a return on investment of at least 50% to 60%. The total involved in the UK alone is huge, and based on just the exchange gain Malaysia would see a profit of RM2 billion or more for every £1 billion, giving Malaysia a tremendous cash flow of hundreds of billions.

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