Government's financial situation was shocking after BN, says Daim


KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Daim Zainuddin said the new administration was shocked to discover the government's financial situation upon a meeting with Bank Negara officials.

During an interview session with TV3's Soal Rakyat last night, Daim who heads the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), said the shocking state of affairs led to the government having issues in meeting its 100 days' pledges.

"When we did the manifesto, we did not know the actual situation. After the change of government, the first thing the prime minister did was to form a Council of Eminent Persons.

"That night, we had meeting until 12am, and we called all parties including Bank Negara, to look into the accounts. We were shocked.

"The numbers were different. It had never happened before. I told the prime minister that we need to look into this. Something bad had happened.

"Now we need to review all things - finance, economy and the agencies. We need to know whether we have enough in the coffers or not," Daim said.

However, Daim said the government did its best to meet the people's expectations, and among others, had successfully done away with the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said the government was also planning to ensure the separation of powers to be put in place.

"Now, although we cannot fulfil all pledges within 100 days, we did so for GST. Then, we are moving towards the separation of powers between the executive, parliament and the judiciary."

Daim said on hindsight, the people were more concerned about bread and butter issues instead of the other pledges outlined in Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

He also reminded the people some of the previous government's legacy including the ones set up by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which he said has become a stumbling block for changes to take place.

"But most of the (pledges) were not important to them. The people only want to see the price of goods go down. Later, they asked why the guilty ones are still free. Why Najib is not in jail yet.

"The people have forgotten. When Najib was in power, the judges were appointed by him. The (then) attorney-general was his man. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was his.

"All the files against him were closed. Upon inquiry, the files were not there, and investigations had to be done again, and time will be needed to carry it out," he said.

Daim implored the people to give the government more time to rectify issues plaguing the country.

"We hope that the people will understand the actual situation. As for the new cabinet, they were the opposition over the past 50 years. So it is different for them. They need time to adapt. The CEP will assist the prime minister and advise on the priorities." © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd