Dr. Ramesh Chander Praises Malaysian Finance Minister for early statement on National Debt

July 2, 2018

Dr. Ramesh Chander Praises Malaysian Finance Minister for early statement on National Debt


R. Chander, Malaysian Chief Statistician (1963-1977) praises Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for early statement on national debt and stresses urgency of coherent plan to manage Malaysia’s public sector debt.

Image result for minister of finance malaysia lim guan eng

I  received an expert opinion on Malaysia’s public sector debt by Dr. R. Chander, the first  Chief Statistician of (1963-1977), who went on to serve as the Senior Adviser to the World Bank’s Chief Economist-Vice President from 1977 to 1996. Upon retirement from the Bank, he served as international adviser to multiple international agencies and governments.

Dr. Chander said he was encouraged by the speed with which the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had come to grips with the most pressing issues and praised the Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng for making an early statement on Malaysia’s debt situation.

Image result for Najib Razak robs Malaysia

Najib Razak caught right handed by the FBI for stealing Malaysian people’s money. But he says it is a donation from the Saudi Royal Family

He said: “This was most timely indeed and most astute: it sent a strong signal to markets and had a calming effect; it told the electorate the mess that PH had inherited.

“At the same time it sent a strong message that the debt situation would impede the implementation of several of the electoral promises.

“Concurrently it provided a rationale for the cancellation/suspension of several mega projects that were to be financed by loans – terms of which were rather unfavorable to Malaysia.

“A good side effect was the call to patriotism that was brought out by the launch of the Harapan Fund!” The question now is: Where do we go from here?

Image result for malaysia's national debt 2018

In his opinion piece, which I attached below, he stressed the urgency of coming up with a coherent and sound plan to manage Malaysia’s public sector debt.

[Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 2nd July 2018]

6 thoughts on “Dr. Ramesh Chander Praises Malaysian Finance Minister for early statement on National Debt

  1. I did read Uncle Lim’s blog link. I am still getting confused by what Dr Chandler meant to say vs what Uncle Lim suggests Dr Chandler said.

    I am alarmed by this …

    // The reality is that repayment of debt is unlikely; at best some reduction in liabilities is likely. The inconsistencies inherent in this populist mix are likely to come back to haunt the coalition.

    Then, the overall tone of concluding remarks differ from what Uncle Lim said.
    Oh well… does it matter?


    The IMF in its report on the Malaysian economy, following the 2017 Article IV Consultations, observed that despite the low share of foreign currency and short-term debt in public debt, Malaysia faces risks arising from its external financing requirement and relatively large share of public debt held by foreigners. At 39 percent, the external financing requirement was considered above the upper threshold of early warning benchmarks and the share of debt held by foreigners was relatively high at about 30 percent of total. These conclusions cannot be ignored but must receive close attention by the newly installed PH administration. Malaysian officials have modest experience in handling the complex issues and may need advisory technical help to develop and implement a coherent Program.

    The Public Debt Sustainability Analysis prepared by the IMF offers useful tools and guidance. The analysis should be up dated periodically.

  2. The Finance Minister should not blabber about the 1MDB e.g selling off the bling bling. Wait till the courts decide on the guilt of Jibby then make the announcement on what the government wants to do with the loot.

    Component parties of PH needs to address their grievances between parties amongst themselves and not make statement like DAPSY who is not happy with the Cabinet selection because Nga and Ong not selected as Ministers. Address that privately to Dr M and I am sure Dr M hae his reasons for not selecting the two. Not sure where it is stated that the spoilt of Ministership is to be divvy up between the parties based on their number of MP’s. Dr M is a wise old man and is trying not to make the same mistake he made previously. I am sure he has vetted the MPs based on their maturity, capability and fitness for the job unlike previously there were many Ministers who were not qualified or even fit to be Ministers.

    • Interesting to note that while it is often repeated that the the Prime Minister has the final prerogative to make his choices, blah, blah, we also hear long before Election Day the top honcho promising so-and-so will be made a a Minister! That to me was clear indication that ‘platform’ politics as practiced by DAP is here to stay, and DAPSY’s latest outburst – it could only be this – even after coming down from the electioneering speakers’ platform. This clearly reflects a persistent DAP inability to sit down and confer with its allies in strict confidence, away from the public glare, so as not to be accused of crossing the fraternal line one time too many.

      We, the public have been given many doses of high-octane speeches by vocal DAP men like Nga Kor Ming, Chong Chieng Jen, etc. Many of the issues raised by DAP stalwarts were relevant and valid, but it was strange that they were articulated in the same vein-in-the-neck-throbbing way of the many UMNO fire-brands. They have not learned anything from Rafizi who speaks with unusual grace but who is as effective, if not more so, than those who think shouting makes a more convincing story.

      Undermining one’s own narrative could also come by blabbering about “selling off the bling, bling.”


      Yes, since when could anyone auction off seized private property without a court order?

  3. It must be understood that PH Is a REAL coalition govt NOT a one-party rule in the guise of coalition as we had before. In that sense, our Finance Minister is a politician, not just a member of a one-party govt. LGE is indulging in a bit of politics, coupled with who the current opposition is, what he does will make news. Critics who says he should not be indulging in politics are unrealistic and should go fly kite.

    But having said that, LGE can let politics get the better of him. Arguing cultural sensitivities with his right to express himself is not sitting govt leadership.

    A Finance Minister in a coalition govt also being a politician is completely natural and even healthy. BUT the Finance Ministry job now is historical and its best to create historical politics by actually doing the job rather than think too short term politicking..

  4. Decisions will be made by the 4 Wisemen and the Chairman. That means that they will have to measure four times before the Chairman can cut once.

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