Tuesday, 24 July 2012

'Illicit outflow partly to blame for spiralling debt'

PKR’s Senator Syed Husin Ali today pointed out that had illegal outflows from the country for the last decade been curbed, the country would not be facing a spiralling national debt.

According to Syed Husin, the total illicit outflow of money from the country amounted to US$337 billion which translated to more than RM1 trillion.

“This sum is more than twice the 2012 national debt which stood at RM456 billion.

“With the tax that could have been collected from the illegal outflow throughout the last decade between 2000 and 2009, we could have solved a large part of the national debt,” he said in a press statement today.

Similarly, he added that the illicit outflow sum was five times the 2012 national budget which was only at RM182 billion.

Syed Husin was referring to a survey by Washington-based financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI) indicating that Malaysia’s illegal outflows were among the worst in the world, just ahead of China, Russia, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

According to GFI, Malaysia’s illegal capital outflow had skyrocketed from US$22.2 billion (RM67.7 billion) in 2000 to US$68.2 billion (RM208 billion) in 2009.

‘Spooked by GE debacle’

Syed Husin further claimed that the illegal outflow had spiked significantly after the 2008 general election when BN lost its customary two-thirds majority.

“Did this situation arise because some rich people were afraid of the results of those elections?” he asked, adding that the government should come clean on the illicit outflow statistics for the subsequent years.

He queried whether the government had taken any measures to curb the problem and whether the perpetrators were punished.

He added it was imperative for the government to explain who were behind this outflow and to where the monies had headed to.

If the government was not agreeable to the figures by GFI, he said, it should make an official objection, he said

In March last year, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had claimed that the illicit capital outflow was much lower, citing a figure of RM135.3 billion for the same period.

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