'We Could Go Bankrupt By 2019'
"Our debt currently amounts to RM362 billion. We don't want to end up bankrupt like Greece with a debt of E 300 billion (RM1.2 trillion).
"The time for subsidy rationalisation is now. Otherwise, we have a time bomb on our hands," Idris remarked.
This was almost three times more than non-OECD countries like the Philippines and 55 times more than Switzerland, an OECD country.
"Our subsidy bill is not sustainable, especially in light of the rising budget deficit and government debt (as a percentage of GDP).
Idris said studies by Bank Negara Malaysia showed that inflation should rise to four per cent from 2011 to 2013, before slowing at three per cent post-2013 under "a less subsidised" environment.
He also said 97 per cent of the subsidies are dispensed on a "blanket" basis.
"It is given to everyone regardless of income level, for example, subsidised primary, secondary and tertiary education, medical services, petrol, sugar and cooking oil, as well as welfare aid and susten ance allowance."