Dr M: Country’s finances must be spent wisely

The country has a debt of RM1t, and if not paid, it will go bankrupt, says PM


THE country’s finances must be spent wisely by setting priorities, said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture). This is why other expenditures may have to be reduced, he said.

“The country has a debt of RM1 trillion, and if not paid, it will go bankrupt. A lot of the proceeds of the state used to pay off the debt were taken by Najib (former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak), that is his legacy,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said this when approached by reporters after attending the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia luncheon with the party leadership in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, yesterday.

He also said the poorest state in the country is not Sabah, but Perlis and Kedah.

“Sabah is the richest state in this country, it has deep sea oil,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Sabah and Sarawak must come together with other states to ensure that there is no large gap or disparity in each state.

He added that Sabah and Sarawak are actually much richer than many of the states in Peninsular Malaysia, as the two Bornean states have huge land.

“We want to review our policy on agriculture, especially modern agriculture which can ensure people in rural areas to also become rich.

“It is about land. Sabah and Sarawak have land,” he said, adding that such land could be developed with new technologies.

At the event, Dr Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, met with the leaders of the Sabah Bersatu, youth wing and division leaders.

Also present were Sabah Bersatu Leadership Committee chairman Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor and Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

The meeting was part of the PM’s one-day visit to the state.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir attended a meeting with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Sabah Cabinet ministers at the State Administrative Centre, Kota Kinabalu.

He arrived in Kota Kinabalu yesterday morning from Kuching, Sarawak, after attending the Malaysia Day celebration the previous night.

During his visit to Kuching, Dr Mahathir said the Pakatan Harapan government is endeavouring to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as partners in the Federation, as provided for in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

He had also reinforced the federal government’s commitment to give more focus on developing the two states in line with its newly introduced Shared Prosperity Vision Policy.