Lim Guan Eng: I'm Okay With Being The Most Unpopular Finance Minister In History

He also stood by the government's decision to reveal Malaysia's financial situation.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said it was fine by him to be the most "unpopular" finance minister in the country's history, according to Bernama

Image via Bernama

"I am going to be a very, very unpopular finance minister. I have no money to give, I am cutting down," the former Penang Chief Minister told Bernama in an exclusive interview at his office, before adding that he does not mind being perceived that way.

"This process of cutting down, cleaning up, and turning around the nation is for our children," he added.

The Finance Minister also responded to criticism of the government's decision to reveal Malaysia's financial situation

Bernama reported that there were objections to the government, and Guan Eng himself, for revealing the mountain of national debts and "talking as if it were still in the opposition". 

However, the Finance Minister insisted that the people and the investors want to know the truth about Malaysia's financial health.

"It was the 'Don't tell them everything lah' mentality (previously). They (former administration) are not used to this," Guan Eng was quoted as saying by Bernama.

"We are telling you as it is, what you see is what you get," he added. 

Guan Eng also said the Pakatan Harapan government will not "massage" the numbers, nor will they subscribe to "creative accounting" as the former administration did.

The former Penang Chief Minister also believed that the national debt could have easily "ballooned" beyond repair if there was no change in government

Image via Malay Mail

"(The) RM1 trillion debt could have easily ballooned to even RM2 trillion or RM3 trillion, a level where no medicine can be prescribed," Guan Eng told Bernama.

He also expressed gratitude to Malaysians for speaking out through the ballot box during the 14th General Election, which saw the historical win of Pakatan Harapan.

"The new Pakatan Harapan government knows exactly what to do (to tackle the problem," Guan Eng added, referring to his success in turning around Penang's financial situation.

Bernama reported that Penang was acknowledged as the best financially managed state in the Auditor-General's report under Guan Eng's 10-year leadership. The state had doubled its asset reserves to RM1.83 billion, and reduced its debts to RM65 million. 

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