Better to be transparent over debt — Daim

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 6): It is better to be transparent over the country’s debt than to cheat, said the Chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), Tun Daim Zainuddin.

“The present Government is willing to be frank to avoid corruption. It wants reform,” he said when asked if revealing that the country’s debt had touched RM1 trillion would have created anxiety among investors.

“Rating agencies met me, and I asked what they wanted. if you want us to cheat, we can cheat. Is that what they want? It is better to be frank,” he said in an exclusive interview over Soal Rakyat, aired on TV3 last night.

The hour-long programme was hosted by Tan Sri Johan Jaafar with Mustapha Kamil Mohd Janor as moderator.

Daim said being open about the real situation would enable investors to do a proper analysis about the country and make investment decisions.

“When they come to Malaysia, everything is transparent. If we hide, what is the point of being shocked tomorrow? No need. They understand,” he said when asked about the sentiment of investors.

Daim also revealed that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be going to the United States and the United Kingdom with investors keen to listen to him on Malaysia’s reforms.

“This is important. Once and for all, don’t hide. This is the real situation. We don’t want to cheat,” he added.