Innovative! Newly-elected PM Mahathir Mohamad using unconventional methods to cut Malaysia’s debt

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Published: June 4, 2018 5:11 PM

Grappling with a $252 billion debt, which is 80% of country's GDP, Malaysian government under the leadership of Mahathir Mohamad has turned to unconventional methods of raising funds from the public.

Innovative! Newly-elected PM Mahathir Mohamad using unconventional methods to cut Malaysia's debtMalaysia has resorted to unconventional methods of raising funds from the public. (Image: Reuters)

Governments usually get the money they spend through taxation and by borrowing via bonds, but Malaysia has taken a step forward. Grappling with a $252 billion debt, which is 80% of country’s GDP, Malaysia has turned to unconventional methods of raising funds from the public.

First, the government is planning to set up a trust fund for the public to donate money in the national interest and second, is to offer soon a series of car number plates bearing the country’s name. The car numbers will range from Malaysia 1 to Malaysia 9999, Bloomberg reported.

Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last week blamed former scandal-tainted leader Najib Razak for economic mismanagement and corruption. After a surprise win on May 9, Mahathir Mohamad became the Prime Minister of the country. “There are many Malaysians who were willing to donate to the government when they found out how bad our country’s financial situation is. We welcome their patriotic stand,” Mahathir Mohamad had said last week.

The country’s transport minister, Anthony Loke, on Monday said that a special series of vehicle registration “Malaysia” will be introduced in conjunction with Independence Day celebration, which is celebrated on August 31, local media reported. The bidding for these 10,000 registration plates will be held from July 2-16 and results will be announced on August 23. The newly-elected government hopes to raise $5.54 million through it.

The high debt in Malaysia is likely to take a toll on infrastructural projects. The government has said it will axe a multi-billion-dollar high-speed railway project to Singapore and review other large-scale infrastructure projects, mainly Chinese investment, to cut costs, the Associated Press reported.

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