Najib rubbishes claim PH’s savings made stimulus package funding possible

Former prime minister Najib Razak claims the Pakatah Harapan government had increased the country’s direct debts by RM140 billion.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has refuted claims the Pakatan Harapan administration saved a lot of funds during its 22 months in power.

In a Facebook post, Najib accused PH of lying with propaganda that the new government can afford its RM250 billion stimulus package to counter the effects of Covid-19 because of the savings their administration made.

Part of PH’s propaganda, he said, was to plant the notion that the former Barisan Nasional administration had spent excessively and increased the national debt while PH was prudent.

Citing finance ministry data, Najib listed the government’s management and development expenditures from 2016 until 2020.

  • 2016 (BN): RM210.2 billion + RM42 billion
  • 2017 (BN): RM217.7 billion + RM45 billion
  • 2018 (PH): RM231 billion + RM54.4 billion
  • 2019 (PH): RM262.3 billion + RM53.7 billion
  • 2020 (PH): RM241 billion + RM55.2 billion

Najib also listed data on the increase in direct debt, involving domestic and foreign borrowings.

  • 2016 (BN): RM37.7 billion + RM0.8 billion
  • 2017 (BN): RM40.7 billion – RM0.34 billion (to repay foreign debts)
  • 2018 (PH): RM54..4 billion – RM0.32 billion (to repay foreign debts)
  • 2019 (PH): RM44.7 billion + RM7.8 billion (samurai bonds)
  • 2020 (PH) RM30.3 billion (Until the change of government)

In total, he said, the PH government had increased the country’s direct debts by RM140 billion and that did not include the government’s loan guarantee for the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan.

The reality, Najib said, was that PH’s expenses were much more than BN, while the deficit level was also higher.

“PH borrowed and guaranteed loans way more than BN. That does not include the monies taken from Petronas and the mass sale of assets. The aid given to the people by BN was way more than during the PH era.”

He said that under PH, the value of Khazanah Nasional’s assets dropped from RM116 billion to RM73 billion, while RM104 billion of Petronas’ RM174 billion was taken.

The economy was so bad during PH’s time that Malaysia’s stock market was the worst performing even before Covid-19 began, he said.

“The dividends from funds like Amanah Saham Bumiputera, Employees’ Provident Fund and Tabung Haji were the lowest in history.

“In a situation like this, how can the country’s wealth have increased during PH’s time?”

Najib questioned if any PH leader dared to dispute the facts and data from the finance ministry.