National debt has passed RM800 billion mark, Najib says

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today said the country’s official debt level has surpassed the RM800 billion mark.

In a Facebook post, he said this was due to the government’s most recent borrowing of RM3.5 billion today, on top of the RM4 billion borrowed last Thursday.

The former finance minister said this brings Malaysia’s official debt to RM800.9 billion, compared to RM686.8 billion at the end of 2017 under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

This is without taking into account the RM82 billion that Petronas has to pay to the government or the numerous national assets being sold, he added.

“After borrowing a lot last year, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government continues to add to the national debt this year at a much faster rate than in the BN era,” he said.

“Congratulations to the PH government. PH’s dream of the official debt hitting RM1 trillion is getting closer.”

Najib said in the first six months of 2019 alone, PH had borrowed RM77.8 billion in domestic and Japanese samurai bonds and only repaid debts of RM17.7 billion.

Now, he said, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was in China to discuss panda bonds, which would mean more borrowing from China.

He said if PH continued with this trend of borrowing, it could add RM140 billion to the national debt for 2019 alone.

“Perhaps the official debt can reach RM900 billion by the end of this year and RM1 trillion by the middle of next year.”