KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The 2020 Budget which provides additional allocations for various sectors proves that Malaysia’s financial position is still strong, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said the tabling of the 2020 Budget, themed “Driving Growth and Equitable Outcomes Towards Shared Prosperity”, has refuted the allegations of many that Pakatan Harapan (PH) could not administer the country well.
“Many are of the opinion that the Pakatan Harapan government is inexperienced and cannot possibly administer the country well, but additional allocations have been given to all parties. The financial position is still strong; we also do not have non-performing loans,” he told a press conference after attending the tabling of the 2020 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tabled the 2020 Budget of RM297 billion, comprising RM241 billion for operating expenditure and RM56 billion for development expenses.
The 2020 Budget is RM19.5 billion more than the RM277.5 billion budget for this year.
Dr Mahathir said with the tabling of the 2020 Budget, the government is still capable of improving Malaysia’s economic performance despite facing constraints in paying the country’s debts.
“As can be seen, the economic growth this year is 4.7 per cent and for 2020 it is projected to increase to 4.8 per cent.
“This is because the PH administration is still managing well although it had to clean up the government; this does not mean the government (machinery) is not functioning well,” he said.
The prime minister is confident that the people are happy with this budget.
“The rakyat is happy; almost everybody gets something (from the 2020 Budget),” he said.
Asked if the reduction of the minimum price threshold for foreign purchase of high-rise property in urban areas from RM1 million currently to RM600,000 beginning next year might prompt developers to push up house prices, Dr Mahathir said it covers only apartments and condominiums and does not involve landed property.
He said this move is necessary as there are unsold houses but it would not adversely affect local buyers.
“We need to sell off this property. Of course, there will be foreign buyers, but local buyers actually would not be cut out just because foreign buyers buy at the lower property,” he said.