Petronas profit decreased – Malaysia in DANGER

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PAS Youth today called for an end to the practice of prime minister doubling as Finance minister, saying it had been responsible for consecutive fiscal deficit in the last 14 years.

According to the wing’s Policy Studies director Syahir Sulaiman, a dedicated office bearer for the post of Finance minister would ensure check and balance.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad assumed the portfolio of Finance minister following his sacking of Anwar Ibrahim, who was the Finance minister then, in 1998. The practice has remained to this date.

Syahir said the country’s economy had suffered as a result of the absence of check and balance.

“Taking loans to sustain expenditure has become a habit difficult to overcome… Federal Treasury Report recorded an increase in debt over 70 percent in 5 years, from RM247 billion in 2007 to RM421 billion in 2011, compared to national revenue which grew by a mere 30 percent from RM140 billion to RM183 billion for the same period,” he said.

Syahir warned that more worrying was the national debt level, which if extrapolated, could hit 55 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) if no drastic and holistic action was taken.

He said the government should control spending and focus on strengthening economic resilience comprehensively as well as end its practice of handouts which he said was not the solution to rising cost of living.

He also urged the government to explore new revenue resources instead of relying on the oil revenue, restructure of subsidies distribution, the creation of an effective welfare assistance, realignment of allocation to productive sectors especially health, education and adoption of transparent tendering system to stop financial leakages.

Meanwhile, national oil company Petronas warned the government that the oil giant could not hit RM90 billion in pre-tax profit for the year.

Its net profit declined in the second quarter with lower crude oil prices falling 30 percent to RM15.2 billion while gross profit decreased to 37.5 per cent from 42.4 per cent.

“Now going into the third quarter, it is going to be worse,” its chief executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas was quoted by news portal The Malaysian Insider. – Harakah