KUALA LUMPUR: Rembau member of parliament Khairy Jamaluddin today urged Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stop confusing the Dewan Rakyat over the national debt.
He was referring to the prime minister’ statement in Parliament on Monday where the latter said Malaysia only had a debt of RM300 billion during his first tenure, from 1981 to 2003.
Dr Mahathir said the national debt had never amounted to more than a trillion ringgit and never exceeded 27 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“The national financial record book shows that in 1986, the (national debt percentage ratio) to GDP was 103 per cent, the highest rate during his first tenure as PM,” said Khairy during a debate on the royal address in Parliament today.
“We need to correct the statement by the PM as it can confuse the Dewan (Rakyat) with incorrect facts.”
He said that this rectification was necessary to dispel allegations that the Barisan Nasional administration had left a RM1 trillion national debt to the Pakatan Harapan government.
Khairy also took potshots at the government over its decision to abolish the Goods and Services Tax and extend the period of repaying study loans to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation.
The former Youth and Sports Minister said the government should not be pressured to fulfil all of its 14th General Election promises merely for populist reasons.
He said the government must take into account the adverse impact such fulfilment of promises would have on both the nation’s economy and young Malaysians’ ability to further their studies at institutions of higher learning.