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Malaysia to revise downwards growth forecast for 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government will revise downwards its growth forecast for 2009 from the targeted 5.4 percent, says Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak.

Details are expected to be announced in Parliament on November 4.

Meanwhile, the government will inject US$1.4 billion into the stock market to shore up sentiments.

Malaysians and financial analysts are watching keenly for the country's response to the global financial crisis.

For a start, the Malaysian government like its neighbour Singapore has announced that it would guarantee all bank deposits till 2010.

Mr Najib had indicated last week that he would probably be addressing Parliament on Monday about more measures to tackle the current ongoing financial crisis.

His Press Secretary said Mr Najib would likely deliver his speech on November 4.

And that's also probably when the Malaysian government would announce its projected growth figures for next year - expected to be lower than the original 5.4 percent.

Mr Najib said because of the volatility of the financial crisis, the government has to calibrate the figures carefully.

"Your growth figures depend on the assumptions that you make in terms of the price of oil for example, plus other commodities. This relates as well to the level of subsidy. There are certain things we have to look deeper into," he said.

Mr Najib also revealed that government projects will be re-prioritised. Only those with higher multiplier effects will go forward.

But he stressed that Malaysia is not in a financial crisis, even though the economy would be affected by the global financial problems. - CNA/de

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