Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Where did the RM51 billion go?

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng should spend more time reducing Malaysia’s debt and finding a more equitable formula to share the country’s revenue among its three founding partners instead of politicking.

Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) president Datuk John Lau in response to Lim’s recent remarks said he (Lim) needs to spend more time running Malaysia’s finances competently instead of commenting on Sarawak’s finances.

“Based on the latest Bank Negara Malaysia data, Malaysia has borrowed RM51 billion since the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government took over. Where has this RM51 billion gone to? Because it surely did not go to Sarawak,” Lau said in a statement yesterday.

He also questioned, is PH the one that makes the country go through financial stress.

“Is Lim worried that if Malaysia finance continues to be under stress, Sarawak will no longer be able to bail out the federal government?

“SPA is unsure if that was the reason the promise of 20 per cent oil royalty has still not been paid to Sarawak as highlighted under PH’s GE14 election manifesto Promise Number 41,” he stressed.

He added that Sarawak is not a state in Malaysia but a partner in accordance with the internationally recognised agreement – the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Under equal partnership, when a partner is under financial stress, the other partners need to help. I feel that Lim’s statement is most uncalled for,” he said.

SPA is asking does the finance minister treat Sarawak as equal partners or the minister is only interested in running down the Sarawak government by his zero-evidence statement.

On Lim’s remark that Sarawak continues to have RM11 billion expenditure budget, with a reserve of RM31 billion, Sarawak will be bankrupt in three years, Lau said the minister had used a wrong formula to calculate financial stress.

“To calculate a nation’s financial health, a couple of numbers are relevant, namely, interest payments, primary deficit, gross debt to GDP, and net debt/GDP. The difference between gross debt and net debt is that net debt subtracts off the portion of debt held by the Central Bank, since usually that does not represent an actual liability.

“Sarawak has an estimated revenue of RM10.513 billion and the total proposed ordinary expenditure is RM10,391 billion for 2019. This showed that Sarawak has a surplus income of RM122 million for 2019. Sarawak has income from dividends, royalties, premiums and taxes. With the implementation of the five per cent tax on oil and gas exports this year, the state will have additional RM3 billion income,” he pointed out.

On the other hand, Lau said the Federal reserves of RM420 billion and Malaysia’s expenditure budget of RM314 billion, based on Lim’s same formula, will Malaysia be a bankrupt country by 2020?

Ikuti Facebook Kami

Artikel Terbaru