KUALA LUMPUR: There is no basis to the claim that the opposition would cause the national debt to rise to RM1.1 trillion if it comes into power, Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
Instead, Mahathir blamed Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government for increasing the national debt to its present level.
“There is no basis to Najib’s claim. The national debt went up during Najib’s tenure as prime minister. Our work is to reduce the debt.
“What is the basis for his claim? When I was in government, was the national debt this high?” the former prime minister asked during a press conference held at the Parliament building today.
He said the opposition pact had never set up a company that was in massive debt.
“But Najib set up 1MDB and made sure that it was not included in the regulations so that it could pile on debts.
“Have you heard of anyone that could pile on debts like Najib?
“He knows how to accumulate debt but doesn’t know how to reduce them.
“Even when a train system has no passengers, he still went ahead to build it and accumulate more debts than the cost needed to build the rail system,” he said, referring to the MRT rail system.
Najib, who is also finance minister, said earlier today that Malaysia would rack up debts of RM1.1 trillion if PH took over the federal government.
He said the opposition pact’s election manifesto, which promised to abolish the goods and services tax (GST) and existing toll collection, would plunge the nation into an additional RM416 billion in debts on top of the existing RM685 billion debt.
“The opposition wants to claim that we are increasing the national debt, but their manifesto is even more drastic.
“This will be the debts that we will inherit and you guys will be the ones who are going to be paying back after this,” Najib told students at the Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).