We are still paying for Dr M’s debt balloon


The only way to completely pay off Malaysia’s debt today is if every one of our 29.7 million population coughs up over RM21,000 each.

Julius Peh, Free Malaysia Today

The ringgit is falling more and more compared to the US dollar, even after Prime Minister Najib Razak announced revisions to Budget 2015.

Investors and analysts from around the world are blaming the ringgit’s fall on Malaysia’s huge government debt and big budget deficits.

This is a problem that is going to keep on plaguing us, but many don’t realise it is a problem that really started with our former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Remember that we had the biggest national budget surplus ever at 2.4% of GDP in 1997, and then the Asian financial crisis forced Dr Mahathir to send the budget into deficit in his first year as Finance Minister.

What makes no sense is why the budget deficit continued to stay above 4% of GDP well into the 2000s when Dr Mahathir was still in power and Malaysia’s economy recovered.

It is a huge debt burden that his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi managed to claw back to 3% before he left office in 2009 and Najib has been wrestling with this overhang since then.

How many more years are we going to be stuck paying off this national debt that Dr Mahathir saddled us with?