KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng held up the government’s ability to continue paying civil service salaries today to repeat attacks against his predecessor for leaving the government just RM450 million of liquidity.
Lim reiterated that his allegation was corroborated by Accountant General Datuk Saat Esa and disputed critics’ claim that there was more money for Putrajaya’s immediate spending.
The minister explained that only funds in the Consolidated Revenue Account may be used for expenses.
“Despite being left with only RM450 million by the previous government, the new Pakatan Harapan government is still able to meet all our monthly financial commitments, especially paying the monthly RM8 billion in salaries and pensions of civil servants, including bonuses,” he said in a statement.
He repeated that the same account when inexplicably from RM11.9 billion in December to RM5.3 billion in January, before plunging to just RM450 million in April or one month before the general election.
Lim said today that this was “clearly” due to excessive spending by the previous Barisan Nasional government in the run-up to the May 9 poll.
The minister did not name predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the statement, but the two have a running battle over the matter.
Najib insists the funds remain in the government’s accounts while Lim denies this.