It will take at least three years for Putrajaya to turn around the country, currently saddled with an RM1 trillion debt, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“In less than two months, I’ll announce my first budget. It’s not just for next year, it will set the economic direction for the next three years.
“We hope to have a clear direction. We need at least three years to recover,” the DAP secretary-general told a crowd of 800 at Pakatan Harapan’s finale ceramah for the Balakong by-election at Batu 11, Cheras, last night.
Lim will table Budget 2019 on November 2.
“Do you know much is RM1 trillion? It’s not enough to use a normal calculator. We need to use a super computer.
“Even if we repay RM1 million a day, it will take 2,640 years. You still want to choose BN (Barisan Nasional)? If you didn’t change the government on May 9, this could have become RM3 trillion.
“I have to work until late nights but I tell myself I cannot give up because there is still a chance to save the country,” said Lim.
Lim pleaded with Balakong voters to show their continued support for PH and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership by turning up in droves to vote today.
He said PH did not give out goodies or announce any development planned for Balakong during the by-election campaign period because it wants to practise clean and healthy politics.
“That’s why we will wait until after the by-election to make any announcements. We hope you will understand.”
Soon after being appointed as finance minister in May, Lim revealed that Malaysia’s debts stood above RM1 trillion.
The new PH government was then forced to undertake cost-cutting measures to manage the debt level, including cancelling and relooking at some major projects started by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.
Among the scrapped projects are the MRT Line 3, estimated to cost RM40 billion to RM50 billion and the estimated RM50 billion Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail.
Putrajaya is also looking at revising two China-backed projects – the RM81 billion East Coast Rail Link and RM9 billion gas pipelines – to manage the national debt.
Ministers and the Agong also took a 10% pay cut as part of the austerity drive.
Lim added that BN left only RM450 million in the public coffers at the end of April but PH has managed to increase the amount to RM3.8 billion as of July 31. – TMI