Savings from mega projects lifeline for ailing institutions, says Guan Eng

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the savings the Pakatan Harapan government made from cutting costs on mega projects have gone into helping government institutions which have been mismanaged. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the savings the Pakatan Harapan government made from cutting costs on mega projects have gone into helping government institutions which have been mismanaged. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the savings the Pakatan Harapan government made from cutting costs on mega projects have gone into helping government institutions which have been mismanaged.

“This is why when we talk about how we have so much savings, but then all these savings disappear.

“We have cut cost for MRT2, LRT3 and they (opposition) say ‘where did all these savings go?’ Well, now you have the answer,” Lim told reporters when met after the launch of the Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC) SME Awards 2018.

Lim said this when asked whether the federal government has the money to help out with the RM6 billion bailout requested by Felda settlers.

Lim citing the estimated RM17.8 billion allocation provided by the Federal administration for TH over 10 years, said the government would look into its financial capability prior to bailing out such government institutions.

On Friday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa announced the completion of the restructuring plan to rescue TH by allocating RM500 million in 2020, and subsequently RM1.73 billion annually until all Sukuk is redeemed.

“Like TH, it was announced by Mujahid, the entire bailout is around RM17.8 billion over 10 years. So definitely we have looked at our finance. It was something that we can manage and also it was necessary to bailout TH.

“It is not under me, under Azmin. Let him announce this before I can make any comments,” said Lim, in reference to Economic Affairs minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, whose ministry oversees Felda.

Earlier, it was reported that the Felda settlers will ask the government for about RM6 billion to help turn itself around, which will be included in the White Paper that is to be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

Yesterday, Azmin said the government will propose a new business model for Felda alongside other initiatives when the White Paper is tabled in Parliament.