Malaysia to embark on $23bn infrastructure spree

Malaysia is hoping to stimulate economic growth by investing $23bn in its transport infrastructure. The plan was announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak during a speech unveiling the country’s 2015 Budget.

Mr Razak said his government would build a 1,663km Pan-Borneo Highway in eastern Malaysia, which would stretch from Sabah in the north of the island to Sarawak, which is on the Indonesian border in the south. It will cost an estimated $8.3bn.

There are also plans to upgrade the east coast railway, build a $7bn mass-rail transit system in Kuala Lumpur, as well as four highways costing $4.9bn and a light-rail line worth $2.8bn.

He also announced projects aimed at boosting growth and development, including the $21bn Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex project, which is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs.

The Malaysian Ministry of Finance has said in its annual economic report that GDP will expand 5% to 6% next year owing to improved external demand and strong domestic activity. This is more optimistic than the UBS finance group, which has forecast that Malaysia will grow by 4.7%.


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