Dec 6, 2010

Donald Duck the Debt - Malaysian National Debt

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The amusing argument in Parliament from the Deputy Finance Minister, Donald Duck Lim who had given inconsistent figures when replying to questions from Fong Kui Lun, the MP for Bukit Bintang over the National Debt.

The national debt, also known as federal government debt or central government debt is  the sum total of debt owed by the government that includes domestic or foreign borrowing either in the local denominated or foreign denominated currency in totality.

The government borrows through the issuing of securities and bonds or known as (MGS) Malaysian Government Securities or Malaysian Government Bonds or Malaysia Treasury Bills either in local Ringgit or in foreign currency.

The Bank Negara report released on 30th November 2010 as in pic above shows a central government debt of RM 397,846 Billion as at the Third Quarter of 2010. The GDP as at the third quarter is a t RM 560,988 billion. If we were to equate the debt as per third quarter GDP it will work out to approximately 71% of debt to the GDP. 

The nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices is at  RM 679,687 Billion for year 2009 and projected at approximately RM 725,000 billion for year 2010. The debt is estimated to be over RM 420,000 billion by end of 2010 equating to about 58% or more of debt over GDP for year 2010.

For purpose of general comparison for year 2009 estimates the country of Ireland has a debt of 57.7 % of GDP, Spain has a debt of 53.2 % of GDP, Portugal at 76.9 % of GDP, Greece was at 126.8 % of GDP, Italy at 115.2 % of GDP and Iceland was at 107.6 %.

Malaysia has been consistently generating a fiscal deficit and the deficit for year 2009 is at 7.4 %  and at 5.6 % of GDP for this year of 2010. The primary reason for this huge fiscal deficit is that spending has exceeded revenue. Although federal government revenues have increased since 1957 by approximately 3 per cent per annum, this spectacular rise in revenue has been exceeded by an even more spectacular rise in expenditure, which reached a colossal RM220 billion in 2009.

 Report from Malaysia Chronicle HERE.
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