Pakatan’s RM1t ‘debt’ claim refuted by Moody’s, Najib insists

Najib claimed his administration had always been transparent in their disclosures and had adhered to strict international standards of reporting. — Picture by Azneal Ishak
Najib claimed his administration had always been transparent in their disclosures and had adhered to strict international standards of reporting. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

PETALING JAYA, June 13 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today called on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to adhere to international standards, and keep politics out when it comes to financial reporting.

He cited top international credit rating agency Moody’s through its Investors Service as having independently assessed the PH government's claims of the RM1 trillion “debt” and debt-to-GDP ratio of 80.3 per cent.

“They have found those claims to be untrue and have maintained our debt ratio to be at 50.8 per cent as declared by the Barisan Nasional government previously.

“You can mislead the people but you cannot mislead the experts,” he said on his official Facebook page.

Contrary to Najib’s claim, PH and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has repeatedly explained that the “RM1 trillion” figure is the total of Putrajaya’s liabilities and not just its debt.

Over the past month, Najib said the RM1 trillion assertion has contributed to a large foreign fund outflow from Malaysia’s bond markets and to the 25 consecutive days of net foreign selling of share market.

Najib claimed his administration had always been transparent in their disclosures and had adhered to strict international standards of reporting, knowing how important such figures are and the impact is has on the economy.

“Even based on the PH's government ratio of 80.3 per cent, it is still lower than the 103.4 per cent ratio reached in the mid 1980s — a ratio that had stayed above 70 per cent for a long period during Tun Mahathir's first term as Prime Minister.

“Malaysia did not go bankrupt then so there is no logic that Malaysia will be bankrupt at 50.8 per cent or even at 80.3 per cent — especially since 97 per cent of our government debt is denominated in Ringgit,” he said.

On Wednesday, Moody said its assessment of contingent liability risks posed by non-financial sector public institutions has not changed following statements by the new Federal Government following its victory in GE14.

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