KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 22, 2018: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reiterated again that Malaysia will not go bankrupt, as it has managed to reduce its debts to 50.4 per cent against the self-imposed ceiling of 55, garnered higher foreign reserves while work on infrastructure projects is in full swing.
The government had also made bold decisions such as implementing the Economic Transformation Programme to boost the economy, creating 2.26 million jobs and raising income to between 5.0 and 6.0 per cent per year.
“We have a self-imposed limit of 55 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product), we have reduced it to 50.4 per cent.
“During the Asian financial crisis, our reserves were down to US$20 billion… we didn’t go bankrupt then. Now our reserves are about US$124 billion. Can you say we’re bankrupt?” he remarked at the Budget 2018 with the Rakyat session here today.
Najib pointed out that Malaysia’s economic growth of 5.9 per cent in 2017 was among the highest in the world, while its inflation and unemployment rates were low.
“That is the big picture. Our achievements have received very good reviews from international organisations such as the World Trade Organisation which commended Malaysia, as our economy is moving in the right direction and our policies are showing positive results, including some measures that we have taken.
“What we’ve collected through the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and other taxes we give back to the people. We’ve given back a lot to the people such as special payments for civil servants because our revenue base is stronger
“This government will take care of you and will continue to take care of you,” he said, adding that the government will unravel some of the earlier decisions made on toll roads.
“I will unravel some of the earlier decisions which I think are not to the interest of the people. That I will do. We have unravelled the IPPs (independent power producers), the very unpopular privatisation, sweetheart deal what I called it. I will review the toll (roads) if we have the remaining funds.
“What we have to safeguard, we will rescue. (For example) Proton is too big to fail. We will make sure Proton survives but we will restructure to make it competitive,” he added.
Under Budget 2018, toll collection at several toll was abolished from last January 1.
“We believe that we can bring this nation to a higher level, we will get there, and we will reorganise whichever is not right and we move ahead.
“But I do not say that this government is not making any mistakes. I am humbled enough to admit there are weaknesses but we are prepared to learn from our mistakes and improves the governance,” said Najib. — Bernama