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Hutang Malaysia melebihi RM500 bilion, hampir 54% dari GDP

September 29, 2012
Federal debt rises to new height of RM502.4bil
4:14PM Sep 28, 2012

The federal government debt continued to rise 10.1 percent to a new height of RM502.4billion or 53.7 percent of the GDP this year, pushing the country one step nearer to the legislated debt ceiling of 55 percent.

The figure, which has doubled since 2006, is equivalent to nearly RM17,000 for every Malaysian.

This is the first time in the nation’s history that the debt has passed the RM500 billion line while the 53.7 percent figure is the highest since the early 1990s.

According to the Economic Report 2011/2012, Malaysia has accumulated RM456.1 billion of debt in 2011.

It stated that the hike in debt is due to “higher domestic borrowings to meet funding requirements”.

However, it stressed that “the level remains within the prudent limit of 55 percent of GDP, a fiscal rule observed by the government”.

At least two international rating agencies have warned that Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating may be cut if the government does not deliver promised reforms to cut spending to reduce its fiscal deficits.

The report pointed out that debt service charges in 2012 are projected to increase by 15.4 percent to RM20.5 billion but it will remain manageable at 10.1 percent of operating expenditure.

In 2011, it was increased by 13.4 percent to RM17.7 billion, or 9.7 percent of the operating expenditure.

“Although the debt level has increased in recent years, debt servicing capacity remains affordable.

“To ensure fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability, the government will ensure total federal government debt does not exceed 55 percent of GDP while debt service charges will be capped below 15 percent of revenue,” read the report.

Subsidy bill to rise

Expenditure on subsidies is expected to increase sharply by 17 percent to RM42.4 billion or 4.5 percent of GDP in 2012, but it is still lower than the sharp hike of 56.9 percent in 2011.

The category, which comprises various subsidies (RM31.5 billion), social assistance programmes (RM10 billion) and incentives (RM854 million), accounts for 20.9% of operating expenditure.

“These include subsidies for fuel, sugar, cooking oil and various incentives to increase food production as well as educational assistance and social welfare programmes to improve social-economic mobility of the rakyat,” said the report.

Allocation for fuel subsidy, the largest component in the category of subsidies, is expected to increase by 23.5 percent to RM25.2 billion in 2012 on account of high refined petroleum prices as well as the one-off cash transfers and vouchers given to various target groups to ease the rising cost of living.

The increase was most significant in 2011 when it recorded a 112.1 percent jump to reach RM20.4 billion.

The special financial assistance programmes announced under Budget 2012, namely the one-off cash transfers, incentive payments and book vouchers, cost the government RM3.2 billion and were accommodated within the allocation for fuel subsidies.

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