NEW YORK, The newly-elected Malaysian government is hopeful of a substantial reduction in the amount of government debt, within the next one to two years, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here today (Thursday). He said, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will prioritise efforts at restoring wealth and rescuing the nation’s economy within this period. Now we are the government. The first thing we have to do is to solve some problems created by the previous government.
The previous government had borrowed huge sums of money, more than RM1 trillion (USD 0.24 trillion). It is tough on us but in one or two years we can reduce the amount, he said, at a dialogue with members of the Asia Society here, that was moderated by former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
Touching on Malaysia’s debt, Dr Mahathir said, no country should have a debt beyond its means, and added that, he was surprised how the previous government could have allowed that to happen. He said, his government had cancelled and reviewed a number of costly projects, which contributed to the overall debt reduction.
Among the projects are the China-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP). We are still trying (to negotiate), and I feel the contractors in China are not too happy, but are not objecting too strongly, he said.
Dr Mahathir said, the government is also keen to encourage foreign direct investment, as Malaysia is a good investment location.
Source: NAM News Network