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Malaysia focusing on national financial position: PM

London, "The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will be concentrating on restoring the country in two key areas namely restoring damage in the administration machinery and the country's financial position which is hampered by huge debts," says Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

In a dialogue session with almost 200 Malaysians in the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday, Dr. Mahathir said the damage in the country's finance and administration machinery by the previous ruling party could destroy Malaysia, had the same party won in the 14th General Election (GE14), Malaysian News Agency (Bernama) reported.

"(Malaysia) will be a land colonised by others, we will lose power in our own country, thus the people gave support to PH to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) government as it did not focus on the country's wellbeing and the nation's development as well as the problems of the people saddled by the cost of living.

He said the country's administration was also badly damaged as corrupted permeated from the highest to the lowest level.

He said the administration machinery also sided with the then ruling party and was even campaigning directly and openly to assist BN even though they should be neutral.

"Their loyalty is not only to the administrators but also to the ruling party, " he said and added that it was not according to the desire of the country's constitution where the ruling machinery such as police and army should adhere to orders of the current government but not to meet the instruction if the party in power.

On restoring the financial position of the country, Dr. Mahathir said it was important to be carried out even though it may result in the government having to sell assets to obtain funds to pay its debts.

According to him, the previous government owed about RM1 trillion and the debts have to be paid, if not the country may go bankrupt leading to further financial malaises besetting the country.

"We have also lost the borrowed money, we do not know where has it gone to, so we do not have the money to settle the debts," he said.

Dr. Mahathir said the budget is usually in deficit as revenue was not sufficient to settle the debts.

He said as such there is insufficient fund to finance government expenditure to administer as well as development including scholarships for students.

"Many more need to be improved, if given time, we (government) will overcome the problems".

At the dialogue session which also touched on scholarship, Dr. Mahathir hoped scholarship holders would finish their studies faster like the second Prime Minister of the country, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein who completed his study in two years compared to the usual duration of three years.

"If we can reduce the time, we could then go home and serve".

On the national car which was also raised at the meeting, Dr. Mahathir said that the development of the national car was to give opportunity for the country to be involved in engineering.

He said building a car which needs 4,000 parts is not easy and not any engineering graduate can do it if they do not practice this aspect of engineering.

Through the manufacturing of cars, he said the country would be able to master engineering which would bring development in manufacturing as well as various engineering skills and knowledge.

"It is not just about the car but the engineering possibilities which the car can lead to the stimulation of the other areas of economic functions," he said.

Dr. Mahathir also quashed suggestion that Proton was a failure because when it was at one time under a good management, the national car maker was able to accumulate RM4 billion in reserve, where it was able to build a plant in Tanjung Malim with its own money without asking for government assistance or borrowing from the bank.

He said Proton was a success until it was decided to allow foreign cars to come into Malaysia unrestricted but on the other hand Malaysia could not sell its car in their countries as they imposed conditions on Malaysia cars.

"It's all about importing their cars not exporting our cars. And of course if you don't export your cars you don't earn foreign exchange. If you keep buying foreign cars then you will lose a lot of money every year," he said.

On the proposed third national car, Dr Mahathir said the government would have to ask the private sector to do it as the government did not have the money to fund the project.

"Then you developed vendors, produce businesses producing parts as there are many (car) parts that will create jobs for the people and a lot of business for small businesses," he said.

The meeting organised by the United Kingdom Bunga Raya Club which was set up in 2016 to support the aspirations of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu)

Source: Bahrain News Agency