New vehicle sales in Malaysia's fell by 8.4% to 51,254 units in May, from 55,941 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association.

This follows a 23% decline in April, following the introduction of the new goods and service tax at the beginning of that month. The continued weakness in demand reflects tighter lending by banks and uncertainty over future economic growth. The Malaysian ringgit has weakened by close to 20% against the US dollar over the last year which adversely affects local sentiment.

Cumulative five month sales rose 3.6% to 264,747 units from 274,595 units in the same period of last year.