Despite a double whammy of crashing oil prices and a sharply-depreciating ringgit, Malaysia's economy remains in good shape, the country's minister of International Trade and Industry said.
"From our point of view, our economy remains strong and stable,"Mustapa Mohamed told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"There is a perception that oil plays a very important role. [In fact,] we're only a very small net oil exporter, while being dependent on manufacturing and other commodities [like rubber and tin]. We are very diversified," the 64-year-old said.
With petroleum products and liquefied natural gas making up 14 percent of Malaysian exports, analysts have been quick to point out the damaging impact of oil prices' drastic decline on emerging Asia's only major energy exporting economy.
Global oil prices have been in free-fall since last June on a host of concerns including weak demand, a strong U.S. dollar and booming U.S. oil production contributing to a supply glut.
According to the World Bank's estimates, Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2015 is expected to slow to 4.7 percent, significantly lower from the 6 percent growth last year. The persistent rout in the price of crude oil was named as the key risk, with one-fifth of the government's revenue dependent on the commodity, the bank's East Asia Pacific Economic Update released on April 13 said.
But, the trade minister told CNBC the government has taken steps to prop up its economy. For one, the introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) of 6 percent this month will help to rein in the country's widening fiscal deficit.
"We recognize challenges, but we've responded with [policies like the GST] which will strengthen our fiscal situation and in turn the fundamentals of the Malaysian economy. We believe we will be able to inject stability into the system," Mohamed said.