Monday, February 19, 2007

"I don't remember taking any (such US$50bil) loan. And I am the Minister of Finance."

PM denies Malaysia borrowing US$50bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is not taking out a US$50bil (RM200bil) loan from overseas to finance the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

Tthe country had enough money to fund its national development projects, he added.

"I don't remember taking any (such US$50bil) loan. And I am the Minister of Finance.

"I know this question comes out because people are accusing us of not having enough money. We have enough money," he told reporters at a press conference on Friday after the 6th National Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council Meeting at Bank Negara.

Abdullah said that money had already been set aside for the 9MP.

To a question whether it will be funded internally, Abdullah said: "Yes, yes."

"Where do you hear such a tale from? Suka sangat dengar cerita ini. (People like listening to such tales)," he said.

Recently, a blogger claimed that "Malaysia was borrowing US$50bil without borrowing".

He said that the US$50bil purportedly procured from 25 prime banks was being channelled through a private limited company which would act as a front for the Malaysian government so that the country was not seen as borrowing US$50bil from overseas.

At yesterday's press conference, Abdullah also denied that the economy was experiencing a downturn.

"I am confident that the economy will be growing even more rapidly," he said in response to a question.