STILL MANAGEABLE: Pulai Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed says the national debt is low compared with that of developed countries
JOHOR BARU: THE 2013 Budget will not put a strain on the country’s financial resources, but in fact will help to spur the economy next year.
“Malaysians should not be concerned over the national debt as it is still low compared with European countries, the United States, and other developed countries.
“The RM251.6 billion allocated for next year’s budget will not put the country at risk of a debt crisis,” said Pulai Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed yesterday.
He said fears that the country would be in a financial crisis was unwarranted as Malaysia could still maintain its fiscal deficit and was in a better shape than some developed nations.
Nur Jazlan, a chartered accountant, said the country’s debt at 53.7 per cent of gross domestic product was still at a comfortable level.
“As long as we can service our immediate interest requirements on the debt, we are still safe,” he said after launching Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) Premium Savings Certificate for last month at the concourse area of the Galleria@Kotaraya here recently.
Nur Jazlan was the guest-of-honour in his capacity as Uda Holdings Bhd chairman.
He said such irresponsible statements that the country’s finances would be in the red were from opposition political parties that were bent on painting a negative picture of Budget 2013.
“The budget is a good one and we need to recognise that the government has to spend in certain areas to encourage economic growth.”
Pulai Johor is one of the largest parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia.
Some 98,000 of Pulai’s 280,000 residents are registered voters.
Nur Jazlan noted that the country was rich in natural resources which translates to available liquid assets.
“The public must understand that now is not the time for the country to go into austerity measures in the budget as we need to spur the economy.”
Nur Jazlan said the announcement of the one percentage point tax reduction for those with a taxable income of between RM2,500 and RM50,000 was seen as a welcome move to restructure the tax system in a fairer way.
He lauded the move by the government and hoped that the public would appreciate it . He said the move was also meant to prepare Malaysians for the introduction of the goods and services tax.