Former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is lamenting that he failed to deflect propaganda against him that supposedly misled the people about Malaysia’s debt ratio.
In a Facebook post last night, Najib said when he took over as prime minister in 2009, Malaysia and the rest of the world were at the brink of an economic crisis that some observers thought would be worse for Malaysia than the 1998 Asian financial crisis.
Thus, Najib said, he introduced two economic stimulus packages that successfully averted disaster and Malaysia continued to enjoy a healthy economic growth rate, but this incurred a large public debt in the process.
The debt-to-GDP ratio at the time rose from 41.24 percent in 2008 to 52.81 percent in 2009, rising to a high of 54.7 percent in 2013 before lowering to 50.9 percent last year.
“Perhaps because my government and I were not good at publicising our efforts at the time like the prime minister of 1998 (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) who often mentioned his efforts to save the country from the prime minister of 1997 (also Mahathir), thus most Malaysians don’t know about the economic situation in 2008 and 2009.
“As a result, I continued to be condemned for raising the national debt, although we managed to save the country from an economic crisis that could have been worse than 1998.
“My priority at the time and throughout my premiership is to take care of the economy and the country, but unfortunately, we could not deflect propaganda attacks that successfully misled the people on what really happened,” he said in the posting.