Finance Ministry: Malaysia’s actual debt is RM823bil, not RM1.2 trillion

malaysia news lab

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will review its current debt and liability exposure of RM1.264 trillion and revenue of RM244.5bil for Budget 2021, says Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri (pic).

Abdul Rahim said the nation’s actual amount of total debt is RM823.8bil, which was within the statutory ceiling of 53.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) but totalled RM1.264 trillion as it includes government liability exposure and commitments.

“The actual standing will be reviewed and detailed when the Budget 2021 is tabled,” he said when answering a question raised by Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (PH-Lanang) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 12).

He noted the calculation also takes into account the cost of the Covid-19 economic stimulus packages, apart from the RM166.9bil to implement infrastructure projects such the LRT and MRT projects and the Pan-Borneo Highway project in East Malaysia.

He added the government liability exposure also included 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) debts of RM32.6bil and other financial liabilities of RM181.4bil linked to public-private initiative projects.

On government revenue for 2020, that was forecasted at RM244.5bil for this year based on crude oil prices of US$62 per barrel although oil prices had slumped to US$41 per barrel.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and uncertainty in commodity prices had also impacted the government’s financial standing, which would also be reviewed under Budget 2021, to be tabled in Parliament on Nov 6.

“What is important is that our sovereign rating is still high at a high level of -A rating as given by major rating agencies such as Moody’s, Fitch and Poor and Standard.

“This shows that the international community and rating agencies continue to give us good ratings and shows that they have confidence in the nation’s economic outlook and effort to stimulate the economy,” Abdul Rahim added.

Besides implementing 82 initiatives to stimulate the economy, he said the government would continue to consolidate and strengthen its fiscal standing.

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