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Malaysia’s ballooning debt a cause for alarm, warns Johari
[Image: 63cce04e-02-johari-abdul-ghani.jpg]

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s rising level of national debt should not be taken lightly, as the country can no longer rely on oil revenue to keep the economy afloat, says former second finance minister Johari Ghani.

He said Malaysia was lucky in that the government was able to rely on the contributions from Petronas during the pandemic lockdown years.

“That is why we were okay. But these resources don’t last forever. So this is why we need to plan (the economy) urgently,” Johari who is also Titiwangsa MP said in an interview with FMT.

Oil and gas exports by Petronas contributed to Malaysia’s foreign earnings, and dividends, taxes and royalty paid by Petronas provided about 25% of federal government revenue.

Johari said the national debt should not be taken lightly even though Malaysia was blessed with natural resources. Rising levels of government debt were a symptom of an ailing economy, as experienced by Sri Lanka.

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