Malaysia Dateline

Malaysia’s RM1 trillion debt: Najib tells the most outrageous lies

Najib Razak is at it again (and again).

He waxes lyrical about his financial administration, while condemning the Harapan administration with lies and half-truths. In the latest, published in Free Malaysia Today, he sang praises of how well his economy was doing with only debts of RM687 billion compared to a massive increase to RM1 trillion under the Harapan government.

“Congratulations Pakatan Harapan (PH), congratulations Guan Eng, congratulations Abahkau and congratulations Atok,” he jabbed.

In this case, Najib is either the worst possible Finance Minister Malaysia has ever had because he doesn’t know how to count, or more likely, he believes that the Malaysian voters are so stupid that they will believe his brazen and blatant lies and twisted truths.

The explanation for Malaysia’s RM1 trillion debt level has been done to death. It was ‘discovered’ and tabulated IMMEDIATELY after Harapan took over from the Najib. No idiot will believe that any government could have increased debt by more than RM300 billion in barely a few weeks.

The truth is, RM1 trillion was ENTIRELY Najib’s BN government’s debt. Except that he hid it from the public by pretending that the Government debt was only RM687 billion (which was big enough as it is).

All the Harapan administration did was uncovering all the debts hidden under various pretences. For example, Najib wrote secret government letters of guarantee for 1MDB to borrow money, which the Malaysian tax payers are now forced to bear. The 1MDB-related debts alone add up to more than RM40 billion of the total debt.

Najib also carried out many inflated-value Government mega-projects “off-balance sheet”. This basically means that the Government borrowed money indirectly, via its wholly-owned subsidiaries, to carry out these projects without being reflected in his RM687billion debt.

The best examples will be the MRT projects which have cost more than RM80 billion, which were not approved by the Parliament in the annual Budget sittings. However, Malaysians today have to pay its debt and interest because these projects were never going to be able to repay the debts on their own.

Worse, Najib carried out tens of billions of ringgit of projects under the so-called “Public-Private Partnership” initiative, which was essentially a fancy name for highly-priced leasing schemes by the Government from private companies. These overpriced leasing schemes provided returns of up to 15% per annum to Najib and UMNO’s crony companies. Again, these figures were hidden by Najib from his RM687 billion ‘official’ debt – and Malaysians are still paying for them today.

What the Harapan government did was simply expose Najib’s lies and deceits after taking over, to tell the truth to all Malaysians. We even have the country’s top auditors from Pricewaterhouse Coopers to confirm and verify these numbers.

If Najib, UMNO and BN ever return to ‘full’ power, there is no doubt that they are going to continue to cheat and deceive Malaysians. It will be the return of the kleptocrats. They will steal from the state coffers and they will continue to hide their corruption with artificial figures – just as Najib is doing today.

At the end of the day, it will be Malaysians, especially our youth and children who have to pay for Najib and BN’s misfeasance, their insatiable greed and corruption, and the escalation of national debt in the future.


Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Damansara.