Saturday, March 23

Moody’s finds PH govt’s claims on national debt to be untrue – Najib


KUCHING: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government must have the integrity to adhere to international standards and keep politics out when it comes to financial reporting, said former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is former Finance Minister, said top international credit rating agency, Moody’s have independently assessed the PH government’s claims of RM1 trillion debt and self-declared debt-to-GDP ratio of 80.3 per cent.

As a result, he said Moody’s found those claims to be untrue and have maintained the nation’s debt ratio to be at 50.8 per cent as declared by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government previously.

“You can mislead the people but you cannot mislead the experts,” he said in his Facebook posting today.

Knowing how important such figures are and the impact it has on the economy, Najib said his administration had always been transparent in their disclosures and had adhered to strict international standards of reporting.

“Even based on the PH’s government ratio of 80.3 per cent, it is still lower than the 103.4 per cent ratio reached in the mid 1980s – a ratio that had stayed above 70 per cent for long period when Tun Mahathir (Mohamad)’s first term as Prime Minister,” he added.

Najib said Malaysia did not go bankrupt then so there is no logic that Malaysia will be bankrupt at 50.8 per cent or even at 80.3 per cent – especially since 97 per cent of the government debt is denominated in Ringgit.

Over the past month, Najib said this RM1 trillion debt story has contributed to the large foreign funds out-flow from our bond markets and to the 25 consecutive days of net foreign selling of our share market – a situation that can only cause losses to retail investors as well as the savings and dividends of our funds such as Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Tabung Haji and Amanah Saham Nasional/Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASN/ASB).