Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today unveiled members of the Debt Management Office (DMO), which is intended to review the government's debt and liabilities, including from statutory bodies and special purpose vehicles.
Lim said that the Pakatan Harapan administration intends to cut down on expensive and irresponsible debt servicing payments arising from weaknesses in debt issuance coordination.
"The establishment of the DMO is an effort by the administration to overcome and resolve the problem of hidden government debt and liabilities, which have grown in excess of RM1 trillion in 2017," he said in a statement today.
The DMO, which Lim will chair, comprises the following members:
• Chief secretary to the government Ismail Bakar;
• Treasury secretary-general Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir;
• Economic Affairs Ministry secretary-general Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen;
• Bank Negara Malaysia governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus;
• Securities Commission Malaysia executive chairperson Syed Zaid Albar;
• Permodalan Nasional Berhad group chairperson Zeti Akhtar Aziz;
• Accountant-general Saat Esa;
• PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia executive chairperson Mohammad Faiz Azmi; and
• Prime minister's economic adviser Muhammad Abdul Khalid.
Lim said the DMO's duties will include scheduling bond issuance and overall borrowings to attain the cheapest interest and coupon rate, restructuring relevant borrowings to save cost, and formulating strategies to reduce the government's debt burden.
"The DMO is designed to keep government debt and liabilities in check by preventing it from growing out of control, while ensuring that reckless borrowing made without valid reasons will no longer occur," he said.