Malaysiakini NEWS

Ka Siong wants Guan Eng to come clean on PPP, national debt

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MCA president Wee Ka Siong today called on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to explain how the country's public-private partnership (PPP) commitments have been reduced and its effect on the national debt.

Wee was responding to an opinion piece published in Malaysiakini, which was written in response to Lim declaring that the debt to GDP ratio for 2018 fell to 75.4 percent from 79.3 percent the year before.

He also said the finance minister should explain how much PPP obligations had fallen in absolute value and detail the reductions.

"This is in the interest of transparency in a matter of national interest," he said on Facebook today.

According to Wee, the national debt and government guarantees stand at RM789.3 billion and RM267.3 billion respectively, from RM686.8 billion and RM230 billion in 2017. 

This, he added, totalled a 15.2 percent increase in the national debt since Pakatan Harapan assumed federal power last May.

"Despite Lim's statement, the reduction in the budget for megaprojects is mostly reflected in the government guarantees portion of the debt, and not in PPP payments.

"Therefore, it is unclear how these megaprojects have led to the reduction in PPP payments, or how these lease obligations have reduced," he said.

On Sunday, Lim said that despite a rise in direct government debt, overall government debt and liabilities fell 3.9 percentage points due to successful cost rationalisation of overpriced megaprojects and PPP payments.

This was on the back of a massive 6.8 percent reduction in fiscal commitments, including PPP lease payments and other liabilities – such as 1MDB – to 15 percent of GDP, from 21.8 percent in 2017.

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