KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's economy expanded in the first quarter at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis, data showed on Friday, as the energy-exporting country grapples with falling oil prices and weak overseas demand. Growth came in at 4.2 per cent year-on-year in January-March, beating a four per cent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. But it was the fifth straight quarter in which the rate of expansion slowed, and the result could put pressure on policymakers to kickstart the struggling economy. A central bank official said it was the slowest rate of growth since the economy contracted 1.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2009. Malaysian gross domestic product grew 4.5 per cent in the final three months of 2015.