by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE government has to spend RM13.9 billion to service debts incurred by scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its unit SRC International Sdn Bhd.
According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture), the government paid RM6.7 billion in 2017 and RM2.1 billion last year for the debts. Lim said the payments were made through the Finance Ministry (MoF) and other MoF Inc companies.
Additionally, Lim said the government has earmarked RM5.1 billion — RM2.4 billion this year and RM2.7 billion in 2020 — to pay off debts carried by the two firms. For the period between 2017 and 2020, the government, Lim said has to spend a total of RM13.9 billion for this purpose.
“Imagine how big the impact of the RM13.9 billion could be if it was used for people’s welfare, instead of spending on the losses of 1MDB and SRC scandals,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.
“The government is committed to execute the mandate in developing and providing the welfare of the people,” he added.
Lim said financial scandals occurred during the previous government’s period, including 1MDB or others, are estimated to incur losses of RM150 billion.
He reiterated that 1MDB scandal caused RM51 billion of debts and liabilities (including interests), and the amount is expected to be fully settled by 2039.
Bernama recently reported Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as saying that it was a “near miracle” that Malaysia was not bankrupt due to the damage done by the previous regime.
“While 1MDB is without a doubt a monstrosity, we will never be able to fully fathom the damage it caused the nation,” Dr Mahathir had said.
Lim said the debt payments will be made from public funds, 1MDB asset recovery fund and public donations to the Tabung Harapan Malaysia.
He said the recovery fund has collected about RM1.45 billion to date, and the Tabung Harapan Malaysia raised RM203 million.