SINGAPORE (June 4): It has been just over three weeks since Mahathir’s spectacular return as prime minister at the age of 92 and it has been a frenetic time. Everyone, from journalists to government servants and even his own staff, is struggling to keep pace with him. The Edge Malaysia was granted a 50-minute interview with him. The following are some excerpts covering debt and infrastructure contracts.

You have said the country’s national debt has exceeded RM1 trillion ($335.4 billion), which has unsettled the financial markets. Are we really at a very alarming stage?

Yes, it is alarming because when Najib [Razak] was [prime minister] he kept on borrowing. He didn’t care how much money the government had borrowed. We had to announce it because if Najib had continued to be the PM, the amount would have grown even more. We are fully aware that the government couldn’t take [on] so much debt.

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