The national debt has now surpassed the RM1.5 trillion mark, and this requires urgent attention, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
This amount includes liabilities borne by the nation and it represents 80% of the country’s Gross Domestic Profit (GDP).
According to New Straits Times, Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said Malaysia cannot remain complacent and live with a culture of contentment as if there is no problem.
He added that the situation was made worse by the current global economic outlook in the wake of both the Covid-19 global pandemic and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict that has yet to show signs of abating.
“The economic uncertainties are still not easing. The economy is still considered dim and this was also contributed externally including the Ukraine-Russia conflict as well as global recovery post-Covid.”
“The problem with our debt is it has already touched RM1.2 trillion and if includes liabilities, it is RM1.5 trillion. We have to accept this reality. We cannot feel complacent, living with the culture of contentment as if there is no problem,” Anwar said.
Anwar also reveals that the debt service charges for 2023 amounted to RM45 billion, and this represented 15% of the country’s revenue, which is the maximum benchmark a country can handle.
“We cannot be under the impression that we are entering 2023 in a comfortable position. If there is a culture of complacency, we will not be able to drive the desired economic growth,” Anwar said.
We do not need more landmarks, KLCC and TRX is enough
Meanwhile, Anwar also said that there will be no new landmark mega projects under his tenure as Prime Minister.
According to Bernama, he said that the existing landmarks such as KLCC and the soon-to-open TRX Tower are both more than adequate.
“I care about Kuala Lumpur, KLCC and TRX are enough landmarks, I will not compete. Under Anwar’s (administration), I have no intention of having a landmark,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that his administration would instead focus on improving the cleanliness and beauty of the city, as well as providing support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and hawkers by understanding their needs.
He added that both sectors were often neglected, after making observations at eateries last Friday.