How Bad Was Our Economy When Najib Was PM6?

Go figure about the economy as the share market doesn’t lie. It reached its highest ever level at 1896 points in April 2018 just before GE14.

One of the key propaganda messages most used by PH and PN against former premier Najib Razak is that Malaysia’s economy and debt were getting worse when he was Prime Minister. This was the mantra they were reciting in all postings and media interviews and used as an excuse to take to the streets in the form of Bersih rallies.

In a Facebook post, Najib said he still read many comments from their supporters expressing this.

He added that in actuality, the reverse is true and he wanted to set the record straight so that the said supporters are no longer deceived by the propaganda and lies by the leaders of the two parties. On an aside, however, I think this is wishful thinking as know matter what Najib says, these supporters would still recite that mantra just because they do not want Barisan Nasional back as the government and Najib as PM.

“When I was PM, the government deficit was reduced for eight consecutive years but became bigger again after GE14. As a result, government debt increased from RM688.6 billion as at end 2017 before GE14 to RM1.05 trillion as of 1st quarter 2022 – a staggering 46.5% increase in less than four years.

Najib Razak: They kept on reciting the mantra that the country’s financial health was bad when I was PM but let the stock market figures speak for itself. – File pic

“As a result, the debt to GDP ratio for Malaysia was also reduced every year and reached 48.7% as at Q1 2018 just before GE14 – way below the statutory limit of 55% that the BN government set for itself.”

He added that post GE14, the debt to GDP ratio increased again under the PH and PN governments. Thereafter, the statutory debt limit was then raised twice to 60% and then to 65%.

Since GE14, the debt to GDP ratio has jumped from 48.7% to 62% as at end 2022. (see chart below)

Graphics from Focus Malaysia

He added that both the government deficit and debt to GDP ratio would have been higher if PH did not then excessively raided the RM176b cash reserves of Petronas left behind by the BN government compared to the RM30b cash when he started as PM.

Imagine that in the year 2019 alone, PH took RM54 billion from Petronas..

March 2019: Petronas to pay RM54 billion dividend to govt.

“Despite both the government deficit and debt to GDP ratio reducing for eight consecutive years, the BN government was still able to build all sorts of large public infrastructure projects such as MRT, LRT1 and LRT2 extensions, the toll-free Central Spine Road highway, the toll-free Pan Borneo Highway, introduce various forms of aid including introducing BR1M at RM500 in 2012 which was then raised almost every year to RM2,000 by year 2018.

“The share market doesn’t lie. That is why the share market more than doubled during the nine years I was PM and reached its highest ever level at 1896 points in April 2018 just before GE14.”

The Pekan MP added that this is why people like Lim Kit Siang would not dare debate him about the country’s financial health as these are all facts and figures. Should they be confronted, they will be forced to admit they have been lying. – New Malaysia Herald

About the writer: Carole Raymond Abdullah is a freelance writer who used to domicile in Hongkong for many years. She is now back in Malaysia, totally surprised at the turn of events in the country lately.

The points expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.

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