KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 – Pas has urged Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to present a White Paper on the actual position of the Federal government’s finances before the upcoming 2019 Budget, scheduled for November 2.
The White Paper, said Pas, is crucial to the country’s financial position as there were discrepancies among data submitted by Lim and other leaders.
Pas information chief Nasrudin Hassan, in a statement, cited an Oct 13 statement by Lim, in which the latter had claimed that the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government left a cash account of only RM450 million on April 30 this year.
“He also claimed that the consolidated revenue account saw a sudden decrease of 96 per cent from the original amount of RM11.86 billion at the end of 2017,” he said.
Nasrudin said declining expenditure should be detailed so that the rakyat is aware of government expenditure and be informed on how the government has been operating expenses from May to September this year.
Nasrudin said the contradiction over the country’s financial status was not a trivial matter and could have a negative impact on the country’s economic stability.
He said Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, in a statement at Universiti Malaya on Oct 13, had said that the actual size of the government debt far exceeded the RM1 trillion stated by Lim.
“The Federal government allegedly hid the actual figure out of fear that if announced, the country would go bankrupt like Greece,” he said.
Nasrudin noted that the claim by the defence minister is a serious one.
“On the other hand, the Finance Ministry, in its written response on July 24 to the Dungun member of parliament, clearly stated that the Federal government debt as of Dec 31, 2017 was RM 686.8 billion,” he said.
The reply, he noted, corresponds with the Federal government’s 2017 Financial Statement prepared by the Accountant General.
“As such, if the actual size of the government debt is untrue, based on the statement made by the defence minister, therefore al the figures reported in the Federal government’s financial statement, as well as the reply by the finance minister, are false,” he said.
Nasrudin said Lim should therefore publish a White Paper to detail the exact status of the country’s finances to prevent statements by the country’s leaders from being manipulated.
“This is not a trivial matter. It could have negative implications to our economic stability as a whole,” he said.