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COMMENT | The 88 billion ringgit question: Where has it gone?

COMMENT | For the past 16 months since the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government took over, I have been having flashes of nostalgia of my primary school days. This happens particularly when the government talks about science and big data underpinning all their policy prescriptions. Like most of the ordinary public, I could not make sense of it; but using primary school arithmetic and science, I am enlightened but alarmed at the same time.

A case in point. The government and the banks have been spinning in the media with technical jargon on the loan moratorium benefits. The finance minister boasted “no other country has a comprehensive loan moratorium like this”! Feeling betrayed, the public are now educating each other on how simple and compound interest works. Yes, primary school arithmetic.

Similarly, I want to discuss the pandemic stimulus packages valued at RM530 billion announced by the government thus far, which includes direct fiscal injection of RM88 billion. The public only realised the enormity of this value after the 1MDB scandal broke.

Even when 1MDB was bleeding, like the government now, billions and millions of direct cash injections were made to the personal bank accounts of the ruling class and their cronies.


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