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Malaysian leader signals populist budget ahead of elections

Stronger economy, oil prices, may allow government to lift revenue

KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Tuesday that new initiatives and several major announcements that "benefit all" would be part of the pre-election federal budget, strengthening expectations of a slew of populist measures aimed at the vote bank.

"This budget will continue to be guided by my goal to correct the problems of the past and to make Malaysia stronger, more competitive at home and abroad; to create a Malaysia that protects the vulnerable and is fair to all," Najib said in a statement.

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