KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 – DAP National Chairman and Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng, said the party welcomes Bank Negara Malaysia’s decision to maintain its overnight policy rate (OPR) at 2.75 percent on Thursday.
In a statement issued today, Guan Eng said it was good news for Malaysia’s economy in the face of an expected slowdown in global growth and moderation of inflationary pressures, both locally and internationally.
Nevertheless, Guan Eng also hoped that the central bank will maintain the current OPR and not raise for the rest of the year, saying that this will be good for the B40 And M40 as well as the small and medium entrepreneurs.
“Economic growth in Malaysia will soften from 8.7 percent last year to 4.5 percent this year, whilst inflation is expected to average between 2.8-3.8 percent this year compared with 3.3 percent last year. Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) in January this year rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier, versus a 3.8 percent in December 2022.
“There is therefore no urgency by BNM to increase the OPR, as done last year, when BNM increased OPR by a total of 100 basis points from a historic low of 1.75 percent as it sought to tame inflation amid robust growth. In January this year, BNM surprised many by not increasing the OPR, easing the cost burden of higher interest rates on individual and SMEs borrowers.”
With BNM not increasing OPR again this month, DAP hopes that BNM can demonstrate its heart for the B40 and M40 groups, and SMEs by not increasing OPR for the rest of the year, he reiterated.