KUALA LUMPUR: The government's current debt stands at RM1.2 trillion, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
However, the minister insisted that the government is not bankrupt as the administration has managed to repay all of its debt on time.
Tengku Zafrul said the country's direct debt stands at RM854bil.
"However, in totality, if you take into account the government's liability, and the off-budget, which the Perikatan Nasional government does not do, it is RM1.2 trillion.
"But that doesn't mean the government is bankrupt because when you say a government is bankrupt, it is based on the ability of the said government to repay its debts on time.
"We have been paying all our debts on time," said Zafrul in his ministry's winding up speech on the Royal address on Thursday (Aug 6).
He said this in reply to Tony Pua (PH-Damansara) who asked the exact amount of the country's debt after taking into account the guaranteed debts, public-private partnership projects, among others.
Tengku Zafrul said in the first quarter of 2020, the Federal Government's debt stood at RM823.8bil.
The committed guarantee stood at RM166.9bil, which were for government-guaranteed projects and other liabilities amounting to RM166bil.
"The total, if you take into account the government's direct debt and the committed guarantee... then the debt stands at RM1.264 trillion, that is the nation's debt now," he said.
Tengku Zafrul said in 2017, the government's debt was RM686.8bil, and in 2018, it went up to RM741bil.
In 2019, it rose to RM793bil due to the deficit in gross domestic product (GDP).
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