Hornbill Unleashed

October 17, 2011

Reflecting on Budget 2012

Sim Kwang Yang

BUDGET 2012 is now being debated in parliament. If I remember correctly, the budget takes 16 days for a full debate and the final vote.

Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy, which respects the principle that there should be no taxation without consent from the people. That is why the money allocated for the budget, which shall come from the taxation of the people, must first be referred to parliament.

Budget 2012 comes at a critical juncture, at a time when the country is expecting another general election. During the last general election, the opposition parties made  unprecedented gains, denying the Barisan Nasional of a two-thirds majority. That is why Budget 2012, as the last budget before another general election, shall receive the full attention of the rakyat.

As expected, the budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in parliament last Friday was a painless one. The RM1.2 million civil servants are the biggest beneficiaries of the budget, with many of them receiving pay hikes from a government that requires political support for survival.

The budget is also dotted with many goodies and allocations for rural voters. The government has spared no effort in trying to win the hearts and minds of the rakyat.

The only losers are for the current crop of MPs together with their retired counterparts like me. Originally, the MPs were promised a pay hike, but this was withdrawn after the second reading of Budget 2012. Apparently, the government’s intention of raising the pay of the MPs was not well received by the opposition.

Sarawak benefits from the RM5 billion allocation for the purpose of improving water supply and other infrastructure, specifically in rural areas.

There is a unique political situation in East Malaysia, as Sarawakians and Sabahans still do not know their strength in the national balance of power.  In my estimation, they will continue to be marginalised in the decades to come.

As I see it, Budget 2012 has not levied new taxes such as on    tobacco and liquor. But there are glaring weaknesses in traditional areas, for instance, the country is still far from being able to implement a minimum wage system to benefit the needy and the private sector.

The budget has not even started to resolve the long-standing problem of dealing with the millions of migrant workers in the country.

Still, I am very thankful to the good Lord that the Malaysian economy is still in a viable position. Developed nations are in critical trauma and compared to many corners of the world, we, Malaysians can still make do with what we have. Thank God for that. That is why we should cut down on wastage and be prudent with our economic policies.

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1 Comment »

  1. It is timely that Sim Kwang Yang pointed out that:

    “Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy, which respects the principle that there should be no taxation without consent from the people. That is why the money allocated for the budget, which shall come from the taxation of the people, must first be referred to parliament.”

    Time and time again, various minsters and government mouthpieces, as well as apple-polishing supporters on the sidelines, have tried to claim falsehoods like “the government will pay so that the people will not have to pay”.

    Indeed, during his Budget speech, Najib himself did that, claiming that the government paid for subsidies so that the rakyat did not have to pay higher prices. Ditto with other liies that the supposedly benevolent UMNO-led BN government was paying for people while he tried to say that UMNO/BN was ahead of Pakatan in that matter.

    Echoes of how the mainstream media used to loudly and unabashedly lie that “Najib donated xxx” or “Rosmah donated xxx” when in fact the funds and material came from some ministry or publicly funded outfit. That went on for quite a long time before it became more and more widespread common knowledge that the reports were shameless propaganda and it was the rakyat’s money, not that of Najib or Rosmah which had been donated. Cannot fool all the people all the time!

    Comment by leithaisor — October 17, 2011 @ 11:27 AM | Reply


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