KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hs claimed that he has found ways to wipe out almost RM200 billion of the country’s RM1 trillion of debt and liabilities, and that he is working with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to mitigate the debt.
In an interview with Voice of America, Dr Mahathir said he might have ways to wipe at least US$50 billion (RM 199 billion) of the total debt and liabilities.
He has previously said that Malaysia’s total debt and liabilities have crossed RM1 trillion when combined with off balance sheet items such as contingent liabilities and lease payments for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, or 80.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The previous government has accumulated huge amount of borrowings from other countries, from foreign banks, and even from local sources, so the first thing that we need to do of course is to ensure that we are able to service the loans, at least, and to reduce the principle that has been borrowed,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said that the country’s finances have been “destroyed” by the previous administration.
Dr Mahathir led his PH coalition to defeat Barisan Nasional (BN) for the first time in the country’s history during the 14th general elections, defeating Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib has since claimed that the new government was “unnecessarily” spooking the market with its announcement regarding national debt levels, insisting that the previous government had reported official debt figures according to international guidelines.