Guan Eng: Najib wasting his time denying national debt is RM1 trillion

NUR LELA ZULKIPLI

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is wasting his time denying the true state of the nation’s finances. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said there were many debts which the previous government had guaranteed which now had to be borne by the present leadership. “Najib is always stressing on the direct debt which stands at RM687 billion, or 50.8 per cent (of gross domestic product), but the present government has to bear also the government-guaranteed debts of the previous administration,” he said. Citing 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as an example, Lim said the strategic investment company was unable to service its loans and the government was now forced to bear the costs. “1MDB is now bankrupt. So, who has to pay all its debts? Of course, the government has to,” he told reporters after attending a buka puasa charity function organised by Country Heights Holdings Bhd. Lim said he was disappointed with Najib for refusing to admit that the national debt was RM1 trillion. “We don’t want to hide the truth. We must be brave in facing facts so that we can, together, settle the huge debts that have been accrued,” he said. Moody’s earlier maintained its estimate of Malaysia's direct government debt at 50.8 per cent of GDP in 2017. It had said its assessment of contingent liability risks posed by non-financial sector public institutions has also not changed following some statements by the new federal government.

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