Increase in govt debt approved by Cabinet, not MoF’s purview, Guan Eng tells Mat Hasan

Lim Guan Eng speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya February 6, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lim Guan Eng speaks during a news conference in Putrajaya February 6, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Lim Guan Eng today labelled the accusation against him that he was responsible for selling off national assets and adding RM140 billion to the country’s debts during his 21-month stint as finance minister as mere lies.  

Lim was commenting on Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who said the new Perikatan Nasional government will look into the affairs of the Finance Ministry that used to be under the DAP secretary-general.

Lim said that the accusations are baseless as he was not on the board of Khazanah Nasional and Petronas.

“The sale of national assets is not within the purview of the Ministry of Finance and I played no part in any decisions made by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, where I am not even a director. Even Petronas is not under the purview of the Ministry of Finance.

“Any increase in the government’s direct debts must be approved by the Cabinet. If I am to be investigated, then Tan Sri Muhyiddin should also be investigated since he was also a Cabinet member that approved the increase in the government’s direct debt,” he said in a statement today.

Lim also said that the accusation of him meddling with Tabung Haji, which was under the purview of then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusor Rawa, is a lie to drum up racial sentiment against himself and DAP.

He said accusation laid out by Mohamad, popularly known as Mat Hasan, just goes to show that the new Umno and Perikatan Nasional government has no intention of uniting the country but will continue to divide the country by relying on racial and religious sentiments.

“For Mohamad Hasan to continue Umno’s lies that I am responsible for Tabung Haji’s financial malaise is an attempt to play up racial sentiment.

“The then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusor Rawa had confirmed that he was in charge of Tabung Haji, and I had not attended any meetings or made any decisions relating to Tabung Haji. The only role I played was to support an injection of nearly RM20 billion in government guarantees to rescue and save Tabung Haji. And yet I am accused of everything that is wrong with Tabung Haji,” he said.

On Saturday, Mohamad claimed that Lim was responsible for increasing the country’s debt to RM800 billion, and for taking RM92 billion of Petronas money and accused him of selling assets from Tabung Haji.

“He took Petronas’ money, RM82 billion in cash, and then another RM10 billion. In total, he took RM92 billion.

“If that is not enough, look what he did to Tabung Haji. He sold the assets but where is the money? Which ministry got the money? I have asked him and he could not answer,” Mohamad was quoted saying by The Malaysian Insight.


 

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