LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 8pm

Stop Focusing On Tabung Harapan And National Debt, Fulfil Your Promises

The RM1 trillion national debt looks to be the main highlight since the Pakatan Harapan government administered the country.

Each day a graphic showing the total funds collected via Tabung Harapan has been circulated, and yesterday, news of a 12-year-old donating his piggybank savings made the headlines.

While DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang insists the contribution helped reduce national debt while Najib helped ‘tot it up’, and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh believes it is an avenue for the young to express themselves and show patriotism, it was called a “pretty cheap stunt” by PKR central leadership council member Latheefa Koya.

Latheefa urged the government to start governing and stop gimmicking.

And a similar view was expressed by Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen.

On Twitter he wrote: “The issue is about governance. How many more feel good stories & PCs of generous poor/ middle class Msians donating to the Tabung?”

While Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday said the huge debt issue was in the way of the government fulfilling its election manifesto, he assured that they are still committed to their promises.

“We need to find stability in our finances before we can implement all our promises,” he said.

Nevertheless, Barjoyai Bardai, an economist from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak had urged for the Pakatan Harapan government to concentrate on fulfilling its promises to the people first, instead of focusing on the national debt.

“Concentrate on programmes that can help it keep its election promises.

“PH needs to be seen to be working on it rather than saying sorry, it cannot work out the promises because it is held back by debts,” he told FMT today.

Barjoyai believes that it would be difficult for PH to fulfil all 10 promises within 100 days as promised, however suggested for the Federal Government to come up with a mechanism, like creating an endowment fund to fulfil its promises.

He says that having a backup plan like an endowment fund will allow money to be used in investments, while its returns could be used to write off debts and loans.