Mon, Apr 29, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Malaysian populist windfall fuels debt fears

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR

Moves by the People’s Pact alliance include a water subsidy in a key state won in 2008 that has drained 20 percent from the state’s operating budget. Cash payments in opposition states have also grown.

If the alliance wins federal power, it promises to make universities free, scrap various taxes and fees, and raise subsidies, moves it says will cost US$15 billion per year.

The National Front counters that they will cost US$65 billion, or 80 percent of Malaysia’s current federal budget.

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