Malaysia not going bankrupt, says DAP veteran

DAP veteran Dr Tan Seng Giaw says the country is still able to pay its civil servants and service its debts. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s ability to finance the country’s debts, civil servants’ salaries and mega development projects is proof that Malaysia is not going bankrupt, says DAP veteran Dr Tan Seng Giaw.

The eight-term Kepong MP explained that the country’s economic growth, achieved under the current government administration, had definitely not been a failure.

“We must look at the situation in totality.

“If the government is able to ensure an effective administration, then it’ll not be bankrupt.

“What is meant by bankruptcy is when the government fails in its ability to pay the salaries of more than a million of its employees and is unable to service the country’s debts.

“I do not see that happening here,” he told the “Ruang Bicara” programme aired over Bernama News Channel on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who was also a guest on the programme, said good ratings from reputable international rating agencies, such as Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, were a further assurance that Malaysia was not going bankrupt.

He said the sovereign ratings of “A” given to Malaysia were the result of an analysis on the country’s economy, which was seen as having the ability to pay off debts, civil servants’ salaries and pensions.

“There are so many countries in the region that are only given B to D ratings.

“If a ‘B’ country (whose rating is lower) is not bankrupt, how can an ‘A’ country like Malaysia be bankrupt?”

Irwan said the improvement in Bank Negara’s foreign reserves to US$110 billion, as at April 13, the low unemployment rate, as well as, higher economic growth and foreign direct investments last year also showed Malaysia was not a failed state.

He added that Malaysia also narrowed its fiscal deficit to 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the 2017 financial year compared with 6.7% when Prime Minister Najib Razak took over the leadership in 2009.

The government was heading towards reducing the deficit further to 2.8% of the GDP this year.