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pywong
8th October 2011, 08:20 AM
We won't waste time publishing the budget just yet. Here's some comments from PSM Dr. Jeyakumar which is more interesting.


3 main concerns not addressed by the Budget -

Dr. Jeyakumar - PSM Member of Parliament



Every year, once the Budget is read by the Finance Minister, the BN sycophants will fall over each other in trying to give a positive spin to it. Tomorrow we will see the same tired phrases repeated in the mainstream papers – “a peoples’ budget”, “a caring budget”, “budget from the heart”, “with goodies for everyone”, and other sugary phrases which are meant to make everyone believe in the benevolence of the BN government.


Sure there are some points that are positive – the abolishment of all school fees for example which though is only about RM 200 per student, will give real relief to the 40% of families whose total monthly income is less than RM2300. The allocation of RM 100 million each for Tamil Primary Schools, Chinese Primary Schools and Religious Schools will be of great help to these partly aided schools. And there several other examples like these.


However an objective assessment of a national budget has to go deeper than this. You just can’t juxtapose a few goodies for disparate sectors and use that to argue that it’s a great budget! A National Budget is a blueprint detailing how the Government of the day plans to tackle the main economic problems facing the nation.

So, what are the main economic problems facing the nation? I think that there are 3 main ones –


1. There is a real possibility of a serious recession in the next 12 months. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the USA may precipitate this. How would this affect us, a nation that exports almost 60% of what we produce? How should we prepare ourselves for such an eventuality?


2. Liberalization of the economy and the reliance on the free market to supply basic necessities such as health care, water, education and housing has led to financial hardships of the 80% of families earning less than RM 5300 per month. How do we address this problem?


3. The leakages are enormous. Many government procurements are at prices that are up to 3 times their actual market value. The development budget is about RM 45 billion, and the allocation for supplies and services is another RM 30 billion. At a conservative guesstimate that half of this money will go to the pocket of cronies through over-priced contracts and quotations, the country will losing RM 37.5 billion in the course of 2012. (To put this amount in proper perspective – the total budget for the Selangor State Government for 2010 was less than RM 1.5 billion!)


Sad to say, none of these crucial issues are addressed in this budget.


The Government planners seem oblivious to the possibility of a recession. They talk glibly sound fundamentals, of robust growth in India and China without taking into account that a 8% growth of a GDP of US 1.5 trillion (India) and US 3.3 trillion (China) is not enough to counter a drop of 4% in the US GDP (US 12 trillion) and the combined GDP of the EU which is of a similar magnitude! And in any case, China’s and India’s growth also depends to a certain extent on exports to the US and the EU, so their growth rates will also be brought down by a recession in the West!


There are several things we can do to cushion the effect of a serious recession – one would be to quickly implement the Retrenchment Fund that the MTUC, PSM, JERIT and other labour groups have been asking for. Another would be to put off expensive infrastructure works and keep those funds aside to ensure that the basic need of the rakyat are met perhaps through issuing food stamps in event there are people who cannot find re employment for some months.


As for the issue of liberalization – it appears that Najib and his planners have no doubts in their mind, although ordinary people the world over are coming out to protest neo-liberal policies. The liberalization of another 17 service subsectors was announced in the budget, including private hospitals. Now a foreign company can set up a private hospital in Malaysia. The fact that this will accelerate brain drain and weaken the government sector on which 75% of our population depend on seems to have been deemed unimportant by our Finance Minister!


And as for the issue of plugging leakages there is nothing but lip service and a whole set of acronyms such as “SRI”, “GTP” and “ETP” among others, which do not seem to have reduced the pilfering of public funds significantly. There do not seem to be any new believable initiatives in the 2012 Budget to stem the hemorrhage of public funds.



The 2012 Budget fails to address the crucial economic issues facing the nation. This can only mean one thing – those entrusted with the stewardship of this country and its economy, are certainly not up to mark! Its high time they are replaced!





Dr. Jeyakumar - PSM Central Committee Member and Member of Parliament

pywong
8th October 2011, 08:21 AM
PSM PRESS STATEMENT



7 October 2011



BUDGET 2012 - A SHORT TERM BUDGET FOR VOTES !



Once again, the Prime Minister has completed his task of handing out sweets through his budget speech this afternoon, hoping that the electorate will reward him in the next much anticipated general Elections.





The budget reflects that the government is not brave enough to make significant changes on how the nations wealth should be spent. The names of programmes such as Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) gives the impression that the Najib’s administration genuinely creates transformation but unfortunately the current budget is no where near transformation, not even towards reform .


As always, Najib has played safe by not making key structural changes to the economy and development concept, but has concentrated on short term gains by giving out hand outs in an attempt to woe support for the BN. One off hand outs , such as one-off RM500 cash assistance for households earning 3,000 per month and below (costing RM1.8 billion) supposedly to benefit 3.4 million households, one-off RM100 schooling assistance for primary and secondary school students from age 6 to 16, up to Form 5. (costing RM530 million), One-off RM200 book vouchers for students of private and public tertiary institution, and Form 6.(costing RM260 million) are all clear election give away’s .The same can be said about civil service pay hikes and payments to Jasa and Kemas employees.



Najib’s budget has maintained his pillars of development which are Foreign Direct Investment, liberalisation of service sectors, further tax cuts for investments and perks for property developers. Najib’s people first slogan does not seem to be portrayed in the budget as key cuts and perks are still enhanced for the investors and corporation while the rakyat are threatened with subsidy cut backs. As mentioned, the handouts to rakyat are short term, just enough for the government to crawl through the elections. If re elected to power, withdrawal of subsidies, implementation of GST and fuel price hikes are sure to follow.


As mentioned by Idris Jala, the nations debts are still rising and in 2012 debt servicing alone will be 20.5 billion ! The budget 2012 nowhere addresses this critical issue as how it’s going to remain afloat as world economies like United States and Europe are preparing for the worst.


The budget too fails to address the spiraling cost of daily consumable goods for the rakyat. Although at the moment, subsidies for rice, sugar, oil and petrol remain, but the rakyat are still struggling to manage the price hilke that took place in the last two years due to the withdrawal of government subsidy then. The price of sugar , rice , oil , milk etc all saw an increase, but seems like the government has no plans to return the subsidies as before and ease the people’s burden.


Another rural vote buying move is the proposed listing of Felda (Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd) in Bursa Malaysia by mid-2012 to raise funds for the company to become a global conglomerate. Settlers are promised to receive a windfall by this move. Felda schemes are also promised RM 400 million to upgrade water supply in their settlements.


The abolishment of school fees is certainly welcomed, but it has to be truly reflected in reality. As many parents complained about the burden of additional payments besides the school fees, such as co curricular fees, workbook fees, lab fees and so on. Thus how much it will really make a difference on parent’s pockets is to be seen in January, 2012. It is important to note that for the last two years the Education Ministry has cut back on food and text book assistance schemes for the poor students. The number of students that were eligible for this schemes were reduced to cut cost, thus many although coming from struggling households were denied this assistance. This 2012 budget remains silent on this matter.


On the issue on housing, the government has terribly failed to address the rocketing house prices in Klang Valley and other major cities. But rather it has played to the market forces and increased the ceiling price for first time house buyers from RM 200,000 to RM 400,000. Even though this eases the eligibility for loan, but wage earners will not be able to complete their loan term in their lifetime and will have to hand it down to their children! Developers and speculative market forces are left completely unregulated to hike up house price beyond the rakyats means.


On low cost housing, it is proposed to build 8,000 units for sale, while 7,000 will be built for rent. This is still far below the actual demand. Those are whom are currently renting in PPR homes continue to rent for more than 10 years, due to non availability of affordable homes. The rent and hire purchase scheme introduced to the PPR residents too was a complete failure as the government failed to facilitate the buyers to own the units . Furthermore, an allocation of RM 40 million for restoration and maintenance of public and private low-cost housing is an unacceptable amount. Majority of the public low cost apartments are in a deplorable state due to problems of maintenance fees and JMB . thus 40 million is clearly insufficient.


The governments priority on public healthcare is in no way reflecting the supposedly ‘people first’ vision as the budget only allocates in total 16.8 billion , which is only 7% of the total budget . As a nation aspiring to be a developed nation, its commitment to healthcare is disappointing. Although the budget allocates 300million to upgrade the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital ,but we fear that it will just be a hardware expenditure with no emphasis on the quality of medical personnel and healthcare.


Finally the budget is a great let down, as the majority of the rakyat are still waiting for the implementation of the minimum wage. As government servants receive wage hikes, the majority of the working masses still take home poverty level income. The budget speech 2012 completely avoids this topic, presumably leaving it to the newly appointed Wage Consultative Council to study the issue further even though the Human Resources Ministry did the same thing through a series of consultative labs a couple of months ago.


Released by




A.Sivarajan

PSM Honorable National Treasurer
PSM

Telephone number 0166798005

--
visit our website at
http://parti-sosialis.org (http://parti-sosialis.org/)

pywong
8th October 2011, 05:21 PM
Something is not right at all! (http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/letterssurat/43986-something-is-not-right-at-all)

LETTERS/SURAT (http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/letterssurat)

Friday, 07 October 2011 Super Adminhttp://malaysia-today.net/images/blank.png (http://malaysia-today.net/component/mailto/?tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL21hbGF5c2lhLXRvZGF5Lm5ldC9tdGNvbHVtb nMvbGV0dGVyc3N1cmF0LzQzOTg2LXNvbWV0aGluZy1pcy1ub3Q tcmlnaHQtYXQtYWxs)http://malaysia-today.net/images/blank.png (http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/letterssurat/43986-something-is-not-right-at-all?tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=)http://malaysia-today.net/images/blank.png (http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/letterssurat/43986-something-is-not-right-at-all?format=pdf)


http://malaysia-today.net/images/stories/najibrosmah.jpg
J. Ong


Prior to the presentation of the 2012 Budget by the PM in the Dewan Rakyat, Najib had a closed door meeting with his top aides of the Finance Ministry and the presence of Bank Negara Governor and the Chief Secretary to the Government.


What we do not understand is what the f**k is the pseudo “First Lady” Rosmah among the attendees? She has no locus standi to be there, except if she wanted first-hand knowledge of the Budget, which is supposed to be confidential until and unless it has been presented to the Parliament. She wants to make sure her own pet projects are safely there, as she does not trust her husband’s words!


Is she telling us that she rank pari pasu with the other top cats, or even higher?


No previous Finance Minister had their wife around during such private previews before Budget is presented. Not even Tun Dr Siti Hasmah. This woman is definitely going to cause the downfall of Najib and nullify all the hard work of Najib walking around among the Rakyat recently.


UMNO insiders will not tolerate such behavior by Rosmah, and before Mahathir blows his trumpet of disapproval, I am beating Dr Mahathir to the gun, this time.
************************************************** **
NAJIB CHECKS ON FINAL 2012 BUDGET PREPARATIONS

(http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AhcUQnpgq0dVWcDuFTKeJ.ZEV8d_;_ylu=X3oDMTFkY2N 2aThoBG1pdANBcnRpY2xlIEhlYWRlcgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDTWVka WFBcnRpY2xlSGVhZA--;_ylg=X3oDMTMzanRhbmNvBGludGwDbXkEbGFuZwNlbi1teQRw c3RhaWQDZGYyNGQ3Y2QtZjU0NS0zYjllLWFmZDItOTQ1NmFjYm U1NGI5BHBzdGNhdANtYWxheXNpYXxnZW5lcmFsBHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=0/SIG=11guihlhc/EXP=1319156998/**http%3A/www.bernamamedia.com/)
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 6 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tonight monitored final preparations involving Finance Ministry''s staff ahead of tomorrow''s tabling of the 2012 Budget.

Najib, who is Finance Minister, spent about one hour at the ministry, during which he also chaired a closed-door meeting with senior ministry officials.


Present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Deputy Finance Ministers Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin and Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai.


Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan as well as Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz were also present.


Najib is scheduled to table Malaysia''s 2012 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat at 4pm.


In remarks made ahead of the event, the prime minister said that it would be a transformational budget for all Malaysians in line with the concept of 1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now.

pywong
10th October 2011, 01:44 AM
2012 budget: Not transformative but a desperate vote buying bid with tax payers’ money (http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/10/2012-budget-not-transformative-but.html)

By Lee Wee Tak at 10/08/2011 09:36:00 PM



A transformative buget?


Najib administration’s 2012 budgeted expenditure (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/malaysia-s-2011-2012-budget-revenue-expenditure-table-.html) totaled RM230.8 billion with operating and development components at RM181.6billion (78%) and RM49.2 billion (22%) respectively.


It is bandied as a budget for next phase of development and transformative in nature but I can’t see how transformative this budget can be when the bulk of allocation is not meant for development but just keeping the existing machinery moving. A damning indicator is that salaries and allowances for our bloated civil servants are budgeted at RM52billion, much greater than development expenditure and more than double the total amount of personnel income tax collected at RM21billion.

Instead I see plenty of handouts for vote buying but no clear indication of how this budget is going to be financed. Revenue for 2012 is budgeted to increase up to RM186.9 billion, up tremendously from RM159.6 billion in 2010, with steep increases from petroleum income and company taxes.


The BN administration has taken heart from the increases reflected in its latest forecast for 2011 but there is no consideration about being prudent with the windfall and starting to trim excesses. Let’s hope BN's revenue forecast for 2012 is not erring on the optimistic side in view of the difficult economic climate predicted for 2012.

But you can't do any good to your revenue collection by granting Lynas, who is setting up a grim reaper kind of factory and enjoying super normal profit, a 12 year tax holiday (which is 2 years beyond the stipulated period in our Income Tax Act, 1967)


There is more than 1 budget, you know


Total expenditure in Pakatan Rakyat’s alternate budget (http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2011/10/05/pakatan-rakyat-budget-2012-part-10-of-10/#more-15872) for 2012 is RM220.5 billion which is lower than BN’s latest forecast for 2011 RM230.8 billion and yet BN MPs are already calling it plucking figures out of thin air/irresponsbible etc.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-budget-cant-rein-in-spending-says-bn/

(http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-budget-cant-rein-in-spending-says-bn/)

How can a bigger spender with proven record of weak financial control criticise a new administration which have proven financial management record and praised by the Auditor General?


http://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/penang-pakatan-government-praised-by-auditor-general-for-prudent-financial-management/

The state of national debt is worrying. The decline in foreign debt is overshadowed by steep increase in Hutang Dalam Negeri Persekutuan (http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/06/national-debts-big-shadow-behind.html) (financed chiefly by KWSP and the various ASN bonds) as well as foreign bonds hidden from public scrutiny (http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/06/national-debts-more-puzzling-numbers.html) sitting inside Khazanah and various other GLCs

In RM Billions
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Kxm7jcdn2Qg/TpBHp1rQ8lI/AAAAAAAAAus/rC-M_yEqw_c/s640/total_debts_nos.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Kxm7jcdn2Qg/TpBHp1rQ8lI/AAAAAAAAAus/rC-M_yEqw_c/s1600/total_debts_nos.jpg)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5q_HgbvbWps/TpBHs2NJORI/AAAAAAAAAuw/ojQ-WdSUlg8/s640/nat.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5q_HgbvbWps/TpBHs2NJORI/AAAAAAAAAuw/ojQ-WdSUlg8/s1600/nat.jpg)


Hand outs are not real tools to combat raising cost of living but mere gimmicks


Some of the goodies BN presented are base on Pakatan Rakyat’s ideas too, a benefit accruing to the rakyat as a result of Pakatan Rakyat emerging as a viable alternative administration:


1) book vouchers of RM200 to students (Pakatan Rakyat’s 2010 alternate budget suggested vouchers of RM100 to students belonging to poor, rural households)
2) RM500 handout to family with monthly income below RM3,000 on condition that the head of family register with the IRB. Penang state government top up income of hardcore poor family to ensure their household monthly income reaches RM500 and this initiative is financed by surplus state budget while in BN’s case, in addition to beingfinanced by perpetual deficit budgets, smells like another 6P initiative to track down previously unknown potential tax payers instead of illegal immigrants.


All these BN handouts are financed by tax payers who also have to pay for the borrowings and interest expense incurred by BN administration who failed year in year out to impose financial discipline and prudence. The higher the handouts, the higher price tax payers have to bear.


Handouts are one time relief but to address the issue of raising cost of living, preventing leakages via corruption, actual structural reforms and supply chain redesign is the key.


3) Tax exemption for donation to places of worship and government schools sounds nice but how easy it is for people to have places of worship to be approved by BN administration in the first place?


http://www.malaysianmirror.com/homedetail/6-nation/49385-orang-asli-church-in-kelantan-faces-demolition-order

(http://www.malaysianmirror.com/homedetail/6-nation/49385-orang-asli-church-in-kelantan-faces-demolition-order)
Orang Asli church in Kelantan faces demolition order


Besides, shouldn’t education be a public goods financed by our tax money? The fact that vernacular and private schools have to survive on public donation and occasional windfall whenever there is a by-election, while public funds are wasted on cronies enriched by toll concessionaires directly negotiated mega projects, IPPs, as well as collapsing stadiums, MRR II recurring repair cost, cost overrun of Istana Negara by 100% etc, makes damning interpretation.


4) 13% EPF contribution for wages up to RM5,000, instead of 12%


Payroll staff would have more workload to split EPF contribution rates between 12% and 13%. The additional 1% for employees earning up to RM5,000 translate into additional RM600 per annum/RM50 per month, frozen in EPF accounts until retirement. How does this address the immediate, day to day cost of living issue?


5) Raising RPGT from 5% to 10%


Property speculation is one of the key elements of driving up cost of living. Raising RPGT from 5% to 10% for won’t bother speculators too much as it is levied on profits earned.


When RPGT was introduced in 1976, the tax rate was 20% within 2 years from acquisition of property, reducing 5% per year until 5% or 0% (depending whether the seller is a company or a person) after a holding period of 5ytears.


The current revised regime of 10% tax for holding period of 2 years and 5% thereafter is hardly impressive and would not deter speculators, who would just push up the selling price then. Maybe the BN administration is going easy on RPGT in view of its hostile on going take over of SP Setia.


More effective and direct methods like limiting the number of bank loans, reviewing the deposit required for subsequent housing loans etc should be explored.


If the BN administration really want to assist the population, take at look at the big gap between banks’ fixed deposit rate and their lending rates, in view of the super profits recorded year after year by these banks.


The BN administration also appear to favour civil servants by granting them superb 7% to 13% increment while not having a minimum wage provision in the budget. Civil servants may argue their pay scale is lower but I would saytheir productivity needs to be examined, performance must be appraised (performing staff should be rewarded but little napoleons like Siti Inshah should take pay cut or job loss instead) and they do not bear the risk of losing jobs as well as having pension hence no need to save for old age.




Proper structural reforms is the key


In contrast, Pakatan Rakyat’s alternate budget has more reformative initiatives and attack the currect entrenched structures.


Raising minimum wage level present an immediate address compared to the locked away 1% more for EPF. The Pakatan budget stipulated a minimum level of RM1,100 while the Selangor state government has set its minimum wage lelel at RM1,500. In addition, the proposed Unfair Public Contract Commission and breaking up monopolies held by cronies will go a long way into breaking up the crony controlled economy of Malaysia.


Pakatan Rakyat’s alternate budget 2012 emphasize on making it easier for private sector to initiate and operate economic activities hence facilitate job creation while BNs budget stated that 85 more Kedai 1Rakyat Malaysia to be opened, selling products at 40% cheaper.


Not only this is killing off other shops around its area, I wonder what special concession is made available to Mydin Group; what kind of compensation or subsidies it is getting behind closed doors to enable it to operate at an unfair advantage? Najib administration has created a threat to small businesses with this sprinkling of dodgy shops in return for some cheap publicity.


Lack of financial control


One glaring omission is there is no cost cutting initiatives in the 2012 BN budget. Note the annual numbing or infuriating disclosure of the auditor general reports are missing this year? (the last I heard from the AG is his praise for Pakatan states financial administration, then silence...hmmm....) You know, for instance, buying a screw driver or a laptop many times above market price?


Pakatan stipulated open tender as a means of cost savings but the closest thing BN has is “all new government projects worth RM50million and above will undergo value management appraisal to ensure benefit to rakyat”.


Firstly, only a few bureaucrats would know how objective and how subjective the appraisal is. Secondly, projects below RM50mil escape scrutiny and what is there to stop creative financial management to break up a RM100mil project into 3 RM33mil projects? Isn’t it better to have open tender to get the best deal for all expenditure items?
The tradition of lax financial control, or the culture of anti-financial control of BN administration is thriving and thriving well, it seems.


Year after year, every deficit BN budget is followed by Supplementary Supply Bills, indicating no control of expenditure what so ever and making a mockery of all budget presentation and debate (http://wangsamajuformalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/08/pay-this-tax-payers.html).

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KSjcAdxLVxY/TpBHwBhS21I/AAAAAAAAAu0/ua1kWViMpYg/s640/supplementary.bmp (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KSjcAdxLVxY/TpBHwBhS21I/AAAAAAAAAu0/ua1kWViMpYg/s1600/supplementary.bmp)

Cost overrun against budget exceeding 30% is normal for successuve BN administrations.

This is what happens when you do not have a separate finance minister to check on the prime minister, which Tunku Abdul Rahman allowed Tan Siew Sin to provide a sense of balance in the years gone by. MCA has, alas, lost the finance ministry post to UMNO. Even the MCA transport minister have no say over the MRT project, the mother of all cookie jar in Malaysia.


Budget 2012 is really a vote buying budget. With the huge amount of handouts, the strain on the financial position of the country would probably mean a snap election and GST to follow suit.

pywong
10th October 2011, 02:36 AM
As can be seen in this thread, we get more information on the budget by reading the critiques that on reading the budget itself.

SATURDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2011Budget 2012- hardly transformative (http://sakmongkol.blogspot.com/2011/10/budget-2012-hardly-transformative.html)

Here is the reason why PM Najib isn’t heeding the unsolicited talking-tos and advice of Dr Mahathir. He has that one tool which he thinks can earn the loyalty and allegiance of people who will ensure BN stays in power. The BUDGET.


It’s themed as a transformative budget. The only transformative feature in a budget described to induce that effect, is converting a cashless person to a person with some cash through a sudden but temporary windfall. The jaga who is a former home-guard will get a RM 3000 windfall after which he remains a jaga to sustain a living.


The language used is the language of a gambler. Hence, his minders leaked information that this is a break the bank budget, a language more suited to the roulette table. The house doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover the value of the chips on the table. Yet it lets people win to encourage more to play at the table. Because in most cases the house eventually wins, so the PM’s minders reasoned, that law will also operate on the 2012 budget. So spend.


PM Najib is gambling. Create the illusion that voters can win by getting money now, while the house is depleting itself. But in the end because the house usually wins, Najib is going ahead to spend. At around the same time, a former PM who was also a former finance minister also never known for fiscal frugality, warned the west not to spend in denial. Was he also targeting our current PM? In a world set upon by slower economic growth, where do we sell our exports? Can we maintain our price of oil and gas to ensure we have enough funds to finance the 2012 budget?

These seem to worry the finance minister the least for now. So, he will and can call elections anytime. Best, call it before the end of the year. But then, UMNO people are just going through the drill attending courses here and there. The UMNO Assembly is slotted sometime at the end of the year. The PM is leaving for Hajj pilgrimage for about two weeks. Perhaps there he will be seeking divine signs on the dates to hold elections. God is on BN’s side just as God is a Republican in USA. It’s impossible not to win. I will say, the elections will be around March 2012.


In recent years, the budget instead of being a solemn account of what the government earns and how it will apply and appoint the revenue has become Santa Claus’s bag of goodies. The 2012 budget breaks all barriers- all social groups conceivable by the finance minister and the group which prepared the budget are included as recipients of some sort of money. It pays everyone to secure their vote.


How the nation’s budget is employed is not dissimilar from the way the Ketua Bahagian UMNO of Pekan sorts out problems in Pekan- pay every damn person. That’s a small way to make people forget about the trials and tribulations of life- the rising prices of food stuffs and goods, the horrendous levels of corruption and abuse of office for self-aggrandizement, the unfair distribution of wealth, the rapacious profiteering around government projects, the arrogance of those in power.


The 2012 budget gives a pain killer to treat a more troublesome agony. With all the money that is going to be given out, the country will have excess liquidity unless it has the absorptive capacity. So where is the buildup of productive capacity to absorb the excess liquidity that will surely add to inflationary pressures? What we see is a catalog of spending and not much information on an overall plan to do justice to the 2012 budget theme- to transform society. Mr Finance minister, Mr Optimus Prime falls short here.


How do you do that? We can achieve that transformative agenda by building capacity, cultivating skills and other productive enhancing capabilities. We are deluged with the overzealous desire to hand out money to all sorts of people. Indeed, we appreciate and salute the sacrifices of the home-guards, special constables and so on giving them RM 3000 one off payment. That’s RM 500 per month if you earn a salary of a jaga which will last you for 6 months. The retraining scheme of our servicemen who serve no longer than 21 years has been an ongoing program since so many years back. So, it’s just a re statement of an existing plan.


There is always this funfair atmosphere surrounding the presentation of our national budget. Everyone thumps the table upon hearing this group will receive a one off payment, that group another lump sum payment. The loudest response of course came when PM announce MP’s allowance will also be revised. A budget is a solemn document. It’s an account of how much this country earned as revenue, its sources and then the proposals to commit that income. It’s a revelation one the exercise of financial management and discipline. Those are the things we must direct our attention to.


For example, everyone clapped when the finance minister said; this year’s budget is a lower proportion of our GDP. Yes, but isn’t our GDP this year bigger than last year’s? Look at the absolute figure too. It’s still a deficit suggesting perhaps financial indiscipline and even worse unjustifiable leakages. Have the leakages been dealt with?
The budget is humongous — RM232.8 billion which is a lot of money, especially with a 9.4 per cent rise in expenditure. Despite the country’s deficit being reduced to 4.7 per cent from 5.4 per cent of GDP, the fact remains that in terms of absolute mount, it would be the biggest deficit in Malaysian history. Biggest deficit.


Our growth rate of 5-6 %? Malaysia should be performing a miracle next year. Our finance minister is confident that Malaysia will do a 5-6% growth rate, whereas the world will grow from a negative figure to maybe 3% max. So is the 5-6% growth rate realistic and achievable? Or is our finance minister confidently pulling wool over our eyes?

Please tell me- when is it, during the 50 over budgets presented have we ever heard the commentaries that followed the budget ever described the budget in negative terms? The analysts sometime behave like children just given some lollipops gushing with uncontrollable exuberance.


Before the 2008 elections, Pak Lah presented the budget in much the same way- giving out goodies to everyone he can capture in the dragnet, yet it didn’t stop the BN losing a large number of seats. So when friends told and confided in me, then the 2012 budget strikes fear in the hearts of the opposition, I told them to let the realities of the budget sink in first. Similar feelings were evident after the budget before the 2008 GE.


I don’t watch TV at all during a budget presentation preferring to listen to old school radio. Listening to just a verbal presentation, excludes the urge to agree on account of facial expressions, speech giving antics and so forth. Also I usually refrain from giving a spontaneous response again preferring further analysis of the budget. People can easily be overwhelmed by the feel good nature of an election budget. Did I say an election budget?


That’s what it is really despite the DPM’s usual dour rejection to suggestions that it is. But nowadays not many people take the DPM seriously. So we can excuse his monotonal warnings and posturing.


Nowadays people are easily charmed by the form by which the budget is presented. Hence people will comment on the language used by the PM, the way he presented it and so forth. This reminded me of the time when Anwar Ibrahim was the finance minister. He presented his budget quoting phrases from the Quran, almost all the philosophers known and read by him, used new phrases- prompting Johan Jaafar, then head honcho of Utusan Malaysia then, to describe Anwar Ibrahim as our best finance minister. We could almost imagine Johan Jaafar getting wet in the pants when describing Anwar Ibrahim as such. Today, Johan Jaafar is of course ensconced in the bowels of BN’s media citadel somewhere. If he were asked to describe PM Najib yesterday when presenting the budget, he will likely do so with the same awed glorification.


I don’t understand why there is so much hype around a budget unveiling. It seems the politics is more important then the contents, ramifications and implications of a budget. It’s also erroneously used as a platform to announce a slew of projects which has nothing to do with a budget. But this year, we are spared the announcement of construction of towers by PUNB, Felda and so forth. The finance minister stays close to the script. The budget is an account of money coming in and where the money is going. That’s it. Then the issues and factors that have affected the coming ins and going outs.


How has he addressed the issue of rising cost of living? People are skeptical about the official inflation rate said to be around 5%. What goods and services are contained in the basket of goods chosen by bank Negara? One year ago 1 kilo of ikan kembong was 60% cheaper. So inflation can’t be 5%. The most important goods and services which the public are looking at are the price of foodstuffs- easily rising beyond 5%, education, housing, transport, cost of fuels etc. inflation just can’t be around 5%. Will the disposable cash increases all around tackle the root cause of rising prices?


What’s the cause of rice shortages that forces us to incur large import bills on rice? Why should be allow Bernas to own a monopoly over rice imports causing market distortions? The minister has announced plans to develop the agriculture sector so that we can increase food production and so forth. That will take a few years down the road so that the immediate and effective way to sort out food import bills is to remove any form of monopolies.


I read one commentator( from Khazanah I think) said- There is a discernible shift towards bite-sized, direct transfers that have a broad reach and direct impact on people’s lives and private consumption numbers. There you are- enhancing private consumption. That’s not transformative all. The excess liquidity is going to be mopped up by private consumption.


I find it rather strange the same commentator saying that the budget exhibited fiscal discipline and it was a very efficient budget that manages immediate needs in an uncertain environment. Is this the state of denial Dr Mahathir spoke about?


In relation to that- i.e. exercising fiscal discipline, just how do we reconcile this statement with the plan for more mega projects such as the Coastal Highway JB-Nusa and the Taiping Heritage Tourism Project at a cost of RM978 million. Can we see fiscal discipline being exercised there or can we expect these to go into cost over-runs, be subject to closed tenders and cronyism. Certainly not transformative. .

pywong
10th October 2011, 12:12 PM
Ucapan Perbahasan Belanjawan 2012 oleh Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim

MUKADIMAH
Tan Sri Yang Di Pertua



Izinkan saya merujuk kepada pembentangan ”Bajet 2012” oleh PM selaku Menteri Kewangan pada 7 Oktober 2011 lalu.



Lazimnya Belanjawan dilakar dengan maksud memacu pertumbuhan ekonomi mampan serta menjamin kesateraan rakyat.



Namun setelah meneliti cadangan cadangan yang dibentangkan terdapat kekurangan pertimbangan dasar dan program khusus.



Permasalahan pokok dan sebarang rencana ekonomi tidak terlepas dari isu tatakelola pentadbiran yang baik. Hambatan besar bagi mana-mana ekonomi termasuklah ekonomi kukuh sekalipun adalah soal keutamaan dan kewibawaan institusi.



Amartya Sen dalam bukunya The Idea of Justice ada menyebut , “Any theory of justice has to give an important place to the role of institutions, so that the choice of institutions cannot but be a central element in any plausible account of justice.” (Sebarang teori perihal Keadilan tidak dapat tidak mestilah memberi keutamaan kepada peranan institusi supaya institusi yang dipilih itu menjadi teras kepada maksud Keadilan tersebut. m/s 82)



Makanya saya berhasrat untuk mengulangi dalam Dewan Yang Mulia ini, usaha-usaha Reformasi Politik dan Institusi yang digarap Pakatan Rakyat seperti yang terkandung dalam Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012. Antaranya adalah:



Melaksanakan sepenuhnya janji-janji di dalam Buku Jingga termasuk pemansuhan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri, akta-akta bersabit media dan percetakan, Akta Rahsia Rasmi dan Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti;



Membentangkan Akta Pemulihan Demokrasi seperti yang dicadangkan Pakatan Rakyat dalam tahun 2011 untuk memansuhkan semua peruntukan undang-undang yang bertentangan dengan amalan demokratik;



Melaksanakan serta-merta semua tuntutan BERSIH2.0;



Merombak Jabatan Perdana Menteri dengan menaiktaraf jabatan-jabatan berkaitan tata kelola dan pertanggungjawab nasional seperti SPR, SPRM, Biro Pengaduan Awam dan lain-lain supaya bertanggungjawab terus kepada Parlimen;



Pengenalan laporan setengah tahun perbelanjaan dan prestasi kewangan negara yang dibentangkan ke Parlimen bersama-sama dengan laporan Ketua Audit Negara; dan



Pembentukan tujuh Jawatankuasa Parlimen untuk membahaskan belanjawan di peringkat Jawatankuasa secara terperinci.



Suka saya mengingatkan Dewan bahawa sebarang usaha membaiki kedudukan ekonomi negara tidak akan berhasil jika tidak disertai oleh reformasi politik yang menyeluruh.



Sementara kedudukan ekonomi negara yang semakin goyah – bergelumang dengan masalah defisit yang kian meruncing, kelembapan ekonomi dizahirkan dalam bentuk kenaikan harga barang dan gaji rendah yang menekan rakyat. Kita tetap dijangkiti dengan keborosan, rasuah dan ketirisan.




Kita tidak mahu belanjawan yang baru dibentangkan minggu lepas, pada hari Jumaat 7hb Oktober lalu seumpama yang dikritik al Quran, ayat 7, Surah al Ma’un:

file:///C:/Users/pywong/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg
[Dan orang-orang yang tidak memberi sedikit pertolongan(kepada orang yang berhak mendapatnya)]

Tan Sri Yang Di Pertua



Pembentangan Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012 yang berlangsung pada 4hb Oktober 2011, 4 hari sebelum pembentangan belanjawan kerajaan memberi kesempatan kepada rakyat untuk menilai.



Mustahak untuk saya tegaskan, Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012 pastinya mengambil pendekatan reformasi dasar untuk mengubah struktur ekonomi dan membaiki kepincangan sistem manakala belanjawan Barisan Nasional ternyata mengekalkan beberapa program baru yang dikitar semula tanpa kesediaan merombak struktur usang.

BAB 1: BELANJAWAN YANG TIADA WIBAWA


Perdana Menteri senang sekali memilih jalan yang paling beliau mahir dan gemari iaitu sekadar usaha penjenamaan semula dan kitar semula. YAB Perdana Menteri kitar semula pelbagai program yang telah gagal, janji yang tidak terlaksana tetapi diberi nama baru dengan pelbagai program penjenamaan semula itu melibatkan perbelanjaan yang besar.



Perbelanjaan RM232.8 bilion yang diumumkan adalah berasaskan angka-angka unjuran yang tidak tepat dengan penambahan beban hutang rakyat dan negara.




Unjuran defisit pada angka 4.7% ini adalah tidak tepat dan tanpa wibawa kerana ia bergantung kepada pertumbuhan ekonomi tahun 2011 dan unjuran 2012, serta unjuran jumlah pendapatan negara dalam tahun 2012.



Unjuran pertumbuhan pada 5% - 6% bagi tahun 2012 perlu dibidas keras kerana ianya ternyata terlalu tinggi sedangkan analisa dari sumber-sumber lain menunjukkan pertumbuhan yang lebih rendah.



Berikut adalah unjuran pertumbuhan terpilih yang dibuat bagi tahun 2011 dan 2012:



Bank Dunia – 4.8% bagi tahun 2011 dan 5.7% bagi tahun 2012;
MIER – 5.2% bagi tahun 2011 dan 5.5% bagi tahun 2012;
RHB – 4.3% bagi tahun 2011 dan 4.5% bagi tahun 2012



Kesemua unjuran ini dibuat sebelum IMF memotong unjuran pertumbuhan dunia kepada 4% pada pertengahan September baru-baru ini; yang bermakna angka-angka terkini sudah tentu lebih rendah dari paras 5% bagi tahun 2011 dan 2012.



Unjuran yang lebih mutakhir dibuat oleh Bank Pembangunan Asia di dalam “Asian Development Outlook 2011” yang diterbitkan pada pertengahan September, mengambil kira risiko ketidaktentuan ekonomi global akibat krisis hutang yang dialami Amerika Syarikat dan Eropah serta kesan lanjutan dari peristiwa gempa bumi dan tsunami di Jepun.



Bank Pembangunan Asia mengunjurkan pertumbuhan ekonomi Malaysia bagi tahun 2011 sekadar 4.8% dan hanya menokok kepada 5.1% dalam tahun 2012; jauh berbeza dari angka yang terlalu optimistik yang digunakan Perdana Menteri di dalam Belanjawan 2012 iaitu pertumbuhan di antara 5% hingga 5.5% bagi tahun 2011 dan kekal pada 5% hingga 6% bagi tahun 2012.



Begitu juga dengan unjuran pendapatan sebanyak RM186.9 bilion. Berdasarkan unjuran pertumbuhan yang lebih perlahan, unjuran pendapatan mendedahkan niat tersirat Barisan Nasional untuk menuntut dividen yang tinggi dari PETRONAS.



Kadar pertumbuhan purata kutipan cukai langsung (tidak termasuk cukai petroluem) oleh kerajaan adalah 9.6% di antara tahun 2008 hingga 2011. Kadar pertumbuhan purata kutipan cukai tidak langsung bagi tempoh yang sama adalah lebih rendah, hanyalah sekitar 5.6%[1] (file:///C:/Users/pywong/Downloads/Ucapan%20Perbahasan%20Belanjawan%202012%20oleh%20D SAI.doc#_ftn1).



Pada kadar pertumbuhan sebegini, anggaran kami menunjukkan jumlah pendapatan RM186.9 bilion hanya boleh dicapai sekiranya kerajaan meneruskan amalan mengenakan dividen tinggi sekitar RM30 bilion setiap tahun dari PETRONAS, sedangkan amalan tidak bertanggungjawab ini akan melemahkan keupayaan PETRONAS melabur semula keuntungannya untuk mencari rizab baru minyak dan gas di seluruh dunia.



Sebab itu, Pakatan Rakyat mengesyorkan supaya kerajaan mengurangkan lagi jumlah dividen yang dibayar oleh PETRONAS bagi tahun 2012 kepada RM26 bilion sahaja, seperti yang termaktub di dalam Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012. Jumlah yang lebih kecil ini akan mengajar kerajaan berjimat cermat dan mengamalkan disiplin fiskal untuk mengekang hutang negara.



Apa kesannya apabila kerajaan menggunakan unjuran-unjuran pertumbuhan ekonomi dan jumlah pendapatan yang terlalu optimistik dan tidak realistik?



Pertamanya, ia akan memburukkan lagi keadaan defisit negara kerana dakwaan Perdana Menteri bahawa belanjawan 2012 akan membawa defisit ke paras 4.7% dari KDNK adalah tidak benar, selain tidak mengambil kira kecenderongan Barisan Nasional berbelanja lebih dan menyeludup peruntukan baru melalui belanjawan tambahan di pertengahan tahun.



Keduanya, ia mengenepikan keperluan mendesak untuk mengamalkan disiplin fiskal dan pendekatan berbelanja wang rakyat dengan berhemah, pada kala ia sangat penting demi menjamin kelangsungan kewangan dan pertumbuhan sihat ekonomi negara.



Namun, kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional jangan sangka rakyat mudah tertipu dengan hamburan data-data yang digunakan. Angka yang dipersembahkan kononnya untuk memberi gambaran bahawa keadaan defisit dan hutang dalam keadaan terkawal, sedangkan kita sedia maklum tabiat Barisan Nasional membentangkan belanjawan tambahan pada pertengahan tahun.



Tabiat seperti itu menzahirkan niat sebenar pentadbiran ini untuk membelanjakan dana awam sewenang-wenangnya, seperti yang berlaku pada tahun 2010 dan 2011.



Saya ingin mengambil masa yang pendek untuk memperincikan analisa peruntukan yang dibuat Perdana Menteri bagi belanjawan 2012. Di bawah Barisan Nasional, 78% dari keseluruhan peruntukan belanjawan 2012 digunakan bagi tujuan menguruskan perjalanan kerajaan; suatu jumlah yang sangat tinggi dan mengalihkan sumber kewangan negara dari bidang-bidang ekonomi yang mempunyai kesan gandaan. Jumlah ini juga terus meningkat saban tahun dan jika tidak dibendung, peruntukan belanjawan bagi tujuan pembangunan dan pelaburan dalam bidang ekonomi dan sosial akan semakin mengecil di masa –masa akan datang.



11 kementerian-kementerian utama diperuntukkan wang yang lebih tinggi bagi perbelanjaan mengurus bagi tahun 2012 sedangkan jumlah bagi tujuan pembangunan adalah lebih kecil. Saya ingin mempersoalkan apakah tiada langkah yang diambil oleh kerajaan untuk mengekang perbelanjaan operasi kementerian-kementerian yang semakin tidak terkawal ini?



Contoh-contoh terpilih yang perlu diberi perhatian adalah seperti berikut:



Walaupun Perdana Menteri mengurangkan peruntukan dari Jabatan Perdana Menteri sebanyak RM2.98 bilion, jumlah ini nampaknya diagihkan pula kepada beliau sendiri melalui Kementerian Kewangan yang peruntukan pembangunannya melonjak 208%.



Malah, perbelanjaan operasi di kedua-dua kementerian yang dipimpin Perdana Menteri akan melonjak sebanyak 12% di Jabatan Perdana Menteri dan 15% di Kementerian Kewangan; bertentangan dengan desakan rakyat agar Perdana Menteri mengurangkan pergantungan beliau kepada juru runding luar negara dan pakar media yang mahal dan mengenepikan pendapat pimpinan penjawat awam.



Perbelanjaan operasi di Kementerian Kerja Raya akan melonjak sebanyak 29%, Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan sebanyak 61% dan Kementerian Dalam Negeri sebanyak 25%. Peningkatan kos ini adalah sangat besar dan menimbulkan tanda tanya apakah ini peruntukan projek-projek kecil dan segera bagi menenangkan tuntutan kontraktor-kontraktor yang rapat dengan kerajaan di akar umbi?



Dewan juga perlu memberi perhatian kepada potongan peruntukan yang besar kepada Kementerian Pelajaran. Perbelanjaan operasi akan dipotong 3% sementara perbelanjaan pembangunan dipotong sebanyak 28%.



Sebab itu, rakyat tidak teruja dengan pengumuman Perdana Menteri bahawa yuran sekolah rendah dan menengah akan dihapuskan kerana jelas penghapusan ini akan dibiayai pula melalui potongan peruntukan yang lain. Keadaan ini tidak ubah seperti Belanjawan 2011 bila mana Perdana Menteri secara senyap-senyap memotong peruntukan operasi pendidikan sehingga bilangan hari di asrama dan peruntukan-peruntukan lain dikurangkan. Makanya, rakyat akan tetap menanggung kos pendidikan yang dibayar kepada pihak sekolah, sama ada melalui sumbangan PIBG atau pelbagai bayaran lain yang terpaksa dikenakan oleh pihak sekolah bagi menampung kos operasi.

Tan Sri Yang diPertua,




Di sebaliknya Pakatan Rakyat mengunjurkan pertumbuhan ekonomi pada kadar 4% hingga 4.5% bagi tahun 2011 dan 2012. Jumlah pendapatan negara bagi tahun 2012 diunjurkan mencecah RM181.3 bilion. Berdasarkan angka-angka ini, sasaran defisit 4.4% bagi tahun 2012 adalah realistik dan mempunyai kesan besar kepada usaha negara mengekang hutang.



Justeru saya mencadangkan pada hari ini supaya Dewan meletakkan syarat sekiranya pertumbuhan ekonomi bagi tahun 2011 kurang dari 5.5% dan suku pertama 2012 kurang dari 6%, maka Dewan akan bersidang semula untuk memotong belanjawan RM232.8 bilion yang dibentangkan pada 7 Oktober dan diunjurkan ke angka RM220 bilion seperti yang dibentangkan di dalam Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012.

[1] (file:///C:/Users/pywong/Downloads/Ucapan%20Perbahasan%20Belanjawan%202012%20oleh%20D SAI.doc#_ftnref1) Analisis pertumbuhan kutipan cukai oleh Kerajaan Malaysia – Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012

pywong
10th October 2011, 12:13 PM
BAB 2: ASAS EKONOMI YANG MASIH RAPUH DALAM SUASANA EKONOMI GLOBAL TIDAK MENENTU


Perdana Menteri juga mewar-warkan seolah-olah ekonomi Malaysia sudah rancak semula dengan menyebut kejayaan menarik pelaburan asing (FDI) dalam tahun 2010 dan separuh tahun pertama 2011. Malangnya, beliau hanya menyebut prestasi Malaysia semata-mata tanpa perbandingan dengan aliran pelaburan sejagat atau prestasi-prestasi negara-negara pesaing di rantau ini.



Hakikatnya, prestasi pelaburan asing yang masuk ke Malaysia masih ketinggalan berbanding dengan negara-negara lain di rantau Asia Pasifik. Peningkatan 6 kali ganda yang disebut oleh Perdana Menteri bagi tahun 2010 adalah kerana nilai pelaburan yang sangat rendah dalam tahun 2009, maka angkanya nampak lebih gah bila dibandingkan dengan asas yang sebegitu rendah.



Saya merujuk perhatian dewan kepada laporan “FDI Global Outlook Report” yang diterbitkan oleh Financial Times, edisi terbaru keluaran Mei 2011 sebagai rujukan yang lebih menyeluruh untuk menggambarkan prestasi pelaburan asing Malaysia.



Rujuk mukasurat 14 yang menyenaraikan perbandingan destinasi pelaburan terbaik di rantau Asia Pasifik bagi tahun 2010:



Senarai 5 negara teratas berdasarkan jumlah projek pelaburan adalah Cina, India, Singapura, Australia dan Thailand. Malaysia tidak termasuk di dalam senarai.



Senarai 5 negara teratas mendapat pelaburan berdasarkan jumlah pelaburan diketuai oleh China, India, Australia, Vietnam dan Singapura. Malaysia juga tidak termasuk di dalam senarai. Malah, jumlah pelaburan asing yang masuk ke Vietnam dalam adalah RM87 bilion dan Singapura sebanyak RM39 bilion, berbanding jumlah RM29 bilion yang diperolehi negara dalam tahun 2010.



Jika Malaysia mensasarkan pelaburan asing dalam industri berteknologi tinggi, kita semestinya ketinggalan jauh berbanding Singapura dan Australia.



Jika Malaysia ingin bersaing untuk mendapatkan pelaburan asing dalam bidang pembuatan dan perkilangan, kita ditewaskan pula oleh Vietnam dan Bangladesh.



Oleh itu, dewan perlu lebih berhati-hati dengan data-data yang dipersembahkan Perdana Menteri kerana ia mengenepikan gambaran keseluruhan kedudukan ekonomi negara.



Sebab itu juga agaknya, Perdana Menteri langsung tidak menyentuh mengenai keadaan hutang negara yang semakin meruncing.



Jumlah hutang negara yang telah mencecah RM437 bilion pada akhir Jun 2011 seperti angka rasmi Bank Negara Malaysia adalah paras tertinggi hutang negara dalam sejarah Malaysia.



Laporan Majlis Kewangan Negara 2010 mukasurat 120 mencatatkan pola keberhutangan awam negara di antara tahun 1970 hingga 2009. Perenggan dua merujuk kepada usaha berterusan untuk mengurangkan nisbah hutang kepada KDNK dalam tahun 90an hingga mencapai paras terendah dalam sejarah iaitu 31.9% pada tahun 1997.



Menurut laporan itu lagi, saya petik: “.. paras terendah 31.9% pada tahun 1997 didorong oleh pemulihan ekonomi negara yang pantas, pelaksanaan dasar fiskal berhemat serta pengurusan hutang yang berkesan. Ini telah membolehkan Malaysia mencatat lebihan fiskal di antara tahun 1993 dan 1997..”



Laporan ini dikeluarkan oleh kementerian yang diketuai oleh Perdana Menteri sendiri, oleh itu wajarlah Perdana Menteri mengambil iktibar tentang peri pentingnya kaedah pengurusan hutang yang berkesan dalam menjamin kelangsungan kewangan negara.



Belanjawan 2012 malangnya dijangka akan mengabaikan beberapa garis panduan jumlah hutang yang digunapakai oleh negara selama ini.



Pertamanya, jumlah hutang negara akan terus meningkat. Jumlah terbitan hutang dalam tahun 2010 adalah RM64.7 bilion sementara jumlah hutang yang akan matang dalam tahun 2011 telah mencecah RM44.5 bilion, berbanding RM23.4 bilion tahun sebelumnya.



Kedua, pertambahan hutang negara yang mendadak ini bermakna jumlah peruntukan belanjawan setiap tahun yang digunakan untuk membayar faedah dan perkhidmatan hutang akan semakin menghampiri had panduan nisbah bayaran khidmat hutang kepada KDNK pada kadar purata 3.5% yang digunapakai selama ini.



Bagi tahun 2012, peruntukan bayaran khidmat hutang telah melonjak kepada RM20.5 bilion berbanding hanya RM12.8 bilion dalam tahun 2008. Kos hutang ini akan bernisbah sebanyak 2.3% berbanding KDNK dan pada kadar pertambahan hutang sebegini rupa, garis had nisbah 3.5% dari KDNK ini bakal dilepasi dalam tempoh masa 5 tahun akan datang.

Tan Sri Yang diPertua,



Perdana Menteri juga menyandarkan angka pertumbuhan 5% - 6% bagi tahun 2012 kepada perbelanjaan rakyat yang kononnya akan merancakkan penggunaan domestik (domestic consumption).



Walaupun perbelanjaan domestik adalah penting untuk menampung pertumbuhan ekonomi negara dalam suasana global yang tidak menentu, sandaran kepada perbelanjaan rakyat untuk meransang pertumbuhan ekonomi perlu lebih realistik mengambil kira faktor harga barang meningkat dan gaji rakyat yang tersekat di takuk lama.



Sebab itu Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012 mengambil keputusan memperkenalkan kembali cukai dan eksais ke atas barang-barang mewah seperti beg tangan, alat kosmetik, celana dalam dan lain-lain kerana ia tidak memberi manfaat kepada rakyat terbanyak sedangkan kos pelepasan cukainya ditanggung oleh kerajaan.




Makanya, kita wajar perihatin dengan kebanyakan rakyat Malaysia yang terbeban dengan jumlah hutang yang membimbangkan. Pada akhir tahun 2010, jumlah hutang isi rumah yang ditanggung rakyat Malaysia telah mencecah RM577 bilion bersamaan 77% dari KDNK negara. Nisbah jumlah hutang isi rumah kepada KDNK ini telah meningkat dua kali ganda semasa saya menjawat Menteri Kewangan iaitu 33% dalam tahun 1997, kepada 77% apabila Perdana Menteri mengemudi Kementerian Kewangan di akhir tahun 2010.



Pendapatan rakyat setiap bulan sebahagian besarnya dihabiskan untuk membayar hutang rumah kereta dan rumah.



Lantaran itu, rata-rata rakyat Malaysia masih berada dalam keadaan yang daif. Masih ada golongan pekerja yang diperlakukan seperti khadam dan dibayar gaji di bawah paras kemiskinan. 40% dari rakyat Malaysia tinggal di dalam isi rumah yang pendapatan bulanannya kurang dari RM1,500. Tiga perempat dari golongan ini adalah Melayu/Bumiputra yang kononnya dibela oleh Umno-Barisan Nasional.



Kekayaan negara pula dipusatkan kepada segolongan kecil golongan kaya dan mahakaya. 50% kekayaan dan pendapatan yang dijana oleh ekonomi negara dibolot oleh golongan 20% terkaya, sedangkan golongan 40% terbawah tadi yang rata-ratanya Melayu/Bumiputra tidak ubah seperti melukut di tepi gantang yang hanya mendapat 15% dari kekayaan dan pendapatan yang dijana.



Manakala itu masih wujud fenomena ketidakseimbangan di antara keperluan tenaga mahir dan tuntutan industri, serta pergantungan kepada pekerja asing yang memberi kesan yang bukan sedikit kepada pasaran kerja. Ini menyebabkan aliran wang tunai keluar negara sebanyak RM22 bilion setahun sekaligus masih menjadi persoalan ekonomi mendesak yang perlukan penyelesaian segera.



Sebaliknya, Belanjawan 2012 yang dibentangkan Perdana Menteri mengelak sepenuhnya dari menjawab persoalan kerangka asas ekonomi seperti yang saya perincikan tadi.



Ada perbezaan yang besar di antara perubahan dasar yang membawa impak ekonomi yang berkekalan dengan membaiki kerangka dan sistem ekonomi, berbanding dengan pengumuman-pengumuman pemberian peruntukan dan hadiah wang tunai bagi satu tahun sahaja seperti yang dibuat Perdana Menteri.



Oleh sebab itulah, Pakatan Rakyat mengambil pendekatan dasar untuk membaiki kerangka ekonomi negara.



Di antara tawaran Pakatan Rakyat yang sangat penting untuk membaiki struktur ekonomi negara adalah untuk memastikan dasar gaji minima terlaksana. Apa yang sangat ditakutkan kepada dasar gaji minima, sedangkan kajian Bank Dunia menunjukkan kadar RM1,100 seperti yang dicadangkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat mampu ditanggung oleh majikan dan ekonomi. Perdana Menteri seolah-olah lebih mengutamakan lobi taukeh-taukeh besar dan kroni mahakaya daripada keperluan jutaan rakyat yang sangat mengharapkan satu anjakan gaji yang menyeluruh meliputi semua 12 juta tenaga kerja di negara ini, bukannya gula-gula yang hanya memikat pekerja sektor awam tetapi mengenepikan kebajika 90% tenaga kerja yang lain.



Oleh kerana pendekatan Belanjawan 2012 kerajaan Umno-Barisan Nasional adalah penjenamaan semula yang pastinya akan melibatkan banyak peruntukan pengiklanan dan perunding, Dewan berhak tahu secara teperinci berapa yang telah diperuntukkan kepada firma-firma asing dan tempatan bagi tujuan pengiklanan dan putar belit (spin). Berapa juga jumlah kontrak bagi tujuan ini yang telah ditandatangani?

pywong
10th October 2011, 12:14 PM
BAB 3: PENJENAMAAN SEMULA PROJEK DAN DASAR GAGAL


Telah pun saya tegaskan program-program yang diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri merupakan ulangan program-program yang telah dibentangkan dalam Rancangan Malaysia atau belanjawan, akan tetapi tidak berjaya membawa sebarang hasil ataupun gagal dilaksanakan.



Sedangkan wang rakyat berbilion-bilion ringgit dibelanjakan untuk membiayai program-program yang gagal mencapai matlamat itu. Kini, sekali lagi rakyat berdepan dengan beban kewangan untuk melaksanakan program-program yang gagal ini.



Tiga contoh terbaik yang boleh saya huraikan, pertamanya, pengumuman-pengumuman yang melibatkan usaha menjamin kelangsungan bekalan makanan dengan memajukan sektor pertanian. Kedua, naiktaraf infrastruktur dan jaringan bekalan air dan elektrik luar bandar termasuk di Sabah dan Sarawak dan ketiga, pengumuman yang menyentuh usaha mewujudkan rumah mampu milik kepada rakyat.



Kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah berjanji untuk mengekang impot makanan dan menjamin food sovereignty (kedaulatan negara melalui bekalan makanan yang terjamin) sejak 10 tahun yang lepas. Selain menjadi teras utama RMK8, kerajaan juga telah memperuntukkan sebanyak RM11.4 bilion sepanjang RMK9 untuk mencapai hasrat ini selain dari meletakkan pengurangan sasaran impot makanan kepada RM14.3 bilion sahaja menjelang akhir 2010.




Izinkan saya untuk memberikan beberapa contoh kegagalan tersebut: Projek ternakan feedlot yang menelan belanja sekitar RM250 juta yang membabitkan suami dan anak seorang menteri di dalam kabinet Perdana Menteri. Soalan ini yang saya bangkitkan sejak tahun lepas tidak pernah dijawab oleh Perdana Menteri mahupun menteri yang bertanggungjawab. Peruntukan sedemikian rupa jumlahnya sama dengan potongan subsidi gula yang terpaksa ditanggung oleh rakyat.



Selain itu apakah nasib Terminal Agrobisnes Nasional yang tidak digunapakai dan kini menjadi projek gajah putih? Puluhan jutaan ringgit dibelanjakan tetapi objektif penggunaannya tidak pernah tercapai, kini dijenamakan kembali oleh Perdana Menteri di dalam belanjawan terkini beliau.



Manakala kegagalan tersebut belumpun dijawab, tiba-tiba kerajaan berhasrat melancarkan satu lagi dasar iaitu Dasar Agro Makanan Kebangsaan, kononnya untuk merangka hala tuju industri makanan dan menjamin bekalan makanan. Bukankah semuanya sudah pun diputuskan dalam RMK8 hingga RMK10 dan dasar-dasar yang lain. Saya harus mengingatkan dewan bahawa yang tergelincir bukannya dasar tetapi matlamat akibat penyelewengan, rasuah dan tiadanya tata kelola yang baik.




Belanjawan 2012 mengulangi kembali janji-janji dalam belanjawan yang lepas, RMK8 hinggalah RMK9; cuma kini dijenamakan semula. Kalau dulu dipanggil TEMAN (Terminal Agrobisnes Nasional), kini mahu dijenamakan pula sebagai Pusat Transformasi Desa. Kalau dulu tabungnya dipanggil Tabung Jaminan Makanan, kini tabung kononnya turut melibatkan Dana Pengkomersilan Pertanian.



Walaupun berpuluh bilion telah dibelanjakan sejak tahun 2000 untuk mengurangkan import makanan, ia terus melonjak akibat kegagalan dasar dan projek yang lebih bermotifkan penyelewengan wang rakyat, bukannya demi kepentingan negara.



Bank Negara Malaysia di dalam perangkaan perdagangan luar negeri Disember 2010 menyatakan bahawa import makanan telah mencecah RM30 bilion.



Statistik ini turut disokong oleh jawapan kepada pertanyaan di dalam dewan, bahawa import makanan telah meningkat dari RM17.7 bilion dalam tahun 2005 kepada RM26.7 bilion dalam tahun 2009 pada kadar pertumbuhan 10.2% setiap tahun, membuktikan kegagalan 10 tahun berturut-turut dasar dan pelaksanaan program di bawah Umno-Barisan Nasional yang kini dijelmakan kembali oleh Perdana Menteri di dalam Belanjawan 2012.

Tan Sri Yang diPertua,



Kita sudah bertukar 3 Perdana Menteri tetapi kita masih bercakap perkara yang sama. Kemahiran yang mereka ada hanyalah menjelmakan dan menjenama semula dasar lama yang gagal. Barangkali ini semua merupakan nasihat perunding asing yang mahal-mahal belaka.



Begitu juga dengan soal membangunkan prasarana desa dan di Sabah serta Sarawak.



Misalnya baru-baru ini Perdana Menteri mengakui bahawa prasarana perbekalan air di kawasan-kawasan FELDA sudah berusia 50 tahun dan sangat daif. Maknanya selepas beratus-ratus dasar digarap, pelbagai janji ditaburkan kepada warga FELDA, hakikatnya masyarakat FELDA belum mempunyai system perbekalan air yang sempurna. Masalah ini turut berlaku di Sabah dan Sarawak.



Dalam Belanjawan 2012, Perdana Menteri mengumumkan seolah-olah perkara-perkara ini adalah keprihatinan baru demi membantu rakyat, sedangkan sewajarnya adalah untuk memohon ampun dan maaf kepada rakyat kerana terlewat 50 tahun menjaga keperluan asas mereka.



Nasib yang sama juga menimpa projek menyediakan rumah mampu milik kepada rakyat. Barisan Nasional gagal menyediakan perumahan mampu milik sedangkan pelbagai agensi telah dipertanggungjawabkan selama ini. Berbilion ringgit wang rakyat telah diperuntukkan saban tahun dan disalurkan kepada kontraktor dan syarikat yang rapat dengan Umno/Barisan Nasional, tetapi memiliki rumah mampu milik seolah-olah mimpi ngeri buat rakyat Malaysia.



Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad ditubuhkan sebagai agensi kerajaan membantu menyediakan perumahan rakyat. Kini, Perdana Menteri menubuhkan pula agensi baru yang dikenal sebagai PR1MA kononnya sebagai agensi tunggal untuk membangunkan rumah-rumah mampu milik di tanah-tanah nilai perdana kerajaan seperti Sungai Buloh, Sungai Besi dan kawasan-kawasan sekitar MRT/LRT.



Pengumuman ini memunculkan dua keraguan. Pertama, bukankah fungsi itu bertindih dan serupa dengan SPNB? Kenapa perlu ditubuhkan agensi baru yang akan menelan belanja pentadbiran yang baru untuk menjalankan tugas yang sama?
Kedua, kenapa PR1MA diberikan tugasan lumayan membangunkan rumah mampu milik di tanah milik kerajaan yang paling bernilai? Apakah PR1MA juga akan menjadi pemaju tidak ubah seperti SPNB, seterusnya melibatkan peruntukan ratusan juta dari wang rakyat dan kerjasama swasta?




Oleh itu, Dewan wajar menegur Perdana Menteri dan seluruh kabinetnya yang giat menubuhkan unit-unit baru dan pelbagai inisiatif pengiklanan baru seperti yang diumumkan di dalam Belanjawan 2012, kerana ini membebankan rakyat.



Izinkan saya menarik perhatian Dewan yang Mulia ini kepada pengumuman menubuhkan Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia. Yayasan tersebut diwujudkan dan dibarisi oleh golongan mahakaya seperti Tan Sri Lim Khok Thay, individu yang dekat dengan Perdana Menteri seperti Rohana Tan Sri Mahmood dan ahli-ahli politik Barisan Nasional untuk mengendalikan program-program invoasi kelolaan Kementerian Sains Teknologi.



Kita tertanya-tanya berapakah kos pentadbiran yayasan-yayasan seperti YIM ini? Daripada peruntukan ratusan juta untuk program-program promosi ini, berapa yang diberikan kepada YIM untuk menganjurkan beberapa seminar antarabangsa?
Projek sebeginilah yang merugikan rakyat dan menelan belanja yang besar tanpa manfaat kepada rakyat.



Apa yang merisaukan beberapa pendekatan Perdana Menteri telah terbukti gagal manakala inisiatif tersebut terkait dengan kepentingan awam. Beliau mengumumkan pelbagai insentif cukai yang lumayan kepada golongan niagawan terutamanya bagi projek-projek kesayangan dan berkepentingan kepada beliau seperti Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (Daerah Kewangan Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur)



Belanjawan 2012 menjanjikan pelepasan cukai kepada pemaju hartanah di KLIFD sebanyak 70% bagi tempoh 5 tahun. Kita boleh mencongak berapa jumlah cukai yang akan dilepaskan begitu sahaja kepada kroni-kroni yang mengusahakan projek mewah ini.



Pengumuman awal menyebut keseluruhan projek hartanah itu bakal menelan belanja RM26 bilion. Kalau kadar keuntungan kasarnya adalah sekitar 20% iaitu kadar biasa projek-projek hartanah mewah, maka keuntungan kasar yang sepatutnya dikenakan cukai adalah RM5.2 bilion. Pada kadar cukai korporat 25%, ini bermakna sebanyak RM1.3 bilion wang rakyat akan bolos ke tangan kroni.



Tidak cukupkan tanah Sungai Besi yang paling berharga milik rakyat itu diserahkan kepada 1MDB yang dikawal oleh individu yang rapat dengan Perdana Menteri? Siapa yang sering dikaitkan dengan pembangunan KLIFD ini kalau bukan Jo Thaek Low. Kalau dikaji projek mega KLIFD ini, ternyata ia tidak memanfaatkan rakyat terbanyak dan memberi keuntungan yang lebih kepada:



Perunding – luar negara atau yang dekat dengan pemerintah, termasuklah CIMB yang selalu terbabit di dalam urusan-urusan besar kewangan negara
Pembinaan – pastinya dianugerahkan kepada mereka yang dekat dengan pemerintah.
Bekalan – sebahagian besar peralatan dan bahan akan diimport dari luar negara seperti kebiasaan pembinaan mercu tanda megah di bawah Umno-Barisan Nasional atau dianugerahkan kepada syarikat kroni
Tenaga pembinaan – rata-ratanya akan menggunapakai buruh asing
Tenaga kerja di KLIFD kelak – sebahagian besar terdiri dari juru analisa kewangan antarabangsa dan hanya sedikit rakyat Malaysia yang berpeluang bekerja di situ




Oleh yang demikian, Pakatan Rakyat mengesyorkan kepada Dewan supaya Perdana Menteri memberi jaminan-jaminan berikut:



Hentikan insentif berlebihan yang menyebabkan kutipan cukai berkurangan termasuk insentif kepada KLIFD, sebelum kerajaan berniat melaksanakan GST;



Perdana Menteri perlu umumkan kepada rakyat dan dewan bila GST akan dilaksanakan supaya rakyat dapat mengundi berdasarkan rancangan pelaksanaan GST pada PRU13;

Dan



Dewan perlu menghentikan sikap jelik yang menghina rakyat; menyalahkan bayaran subsidi semata-mata, sedangkan insentif-insentif yang melampau turut melibatkan banyak ketirisan kepada wang negara dan pendapatan yang berkurangan



Sekiranya diberi peluang untuk mentadbir negara, Pakatan Rakyat beriltizam memastikan mana-mana perjanjian atau insentif yang tidak telus dan membelakangkan kepentingan rakyat akan dirujuk kepada Suruhanjaya Perjanjian Awam, yang akan ditubuhkan demi untuk menilai semula segala perjanjian ini.


BAB 4: KRONI DIDAHULUKAN, PROJEK DIUTAMAKAN
Tan Sri Yang diPertua


Belanjawan 2012 menzahirkan ketagihan BN kepada rasuah dan penyelewengan. Tidak ada tanda-tanda ketagihan ini akan reda, kerana pelbagai pengumuman yang dibuat jelas akan menguntungkan pihak-pihak berkepentingan semata-mata.



Saya ingin merakamkan kekesalan kepada dewan kerana cadangan penyenaraian Felda Global Ventures Holding yang merupakan mercu tanda dan harta rakyat yang sensitif langsung tidak dibahaskan terlebih dahulu di dewan ini, sebelum dipertimbangkan untuk dibawa masuk ke dalam belanjawan.



Saya bukanlah menentang sebarang usaha untuk mengembangkan saiz pasaran saham dan menarik pelabur asing ke Bursa Malaysia, tetapi persoalan yang membabitkan institusi Melayu/Bumiputra dan harta rakyat yang dibina oleh 3 generasi rakyat Malaysia ini perlukan perdebatan ikhlas dan ilmiah di dewan ini terlebih dahulu.



Perdana Menteri seharusnya mengambil kira risiko kewangan dan pasaran yang akan mendedahkan Felda kepada susut nilai pasaran mirip kepada nasib yang sedang menimpa MAS, sekiranya penyenaraian ini tidak disertakan dengan tata kelola yang baik, pengurusan yang telus dan bebas dari campur tangan politik dan diperkuatkan dengan segala langkah mengelakkan manipulasi pasaran dan spekulasi.



Harga pasaran saham MAS telah susut sehinggakan harga semasanya hanyalah sekitar 37% berbanding harganya sekitar tahun 1993 hingga 1995. Walaupun asetnya besar dan saiz operasinya berlipat kali ganda berbanding AirAsia, harga sahamnya turun naik dan sekarang ini hanyalah 50% dari harga saham AirAsia.



Kita perlu berwaspada supaya nasib yang sama tidak menimpa Felda, maka keputusan sebesar itu sewajarnya dibahaskan di dewan ini agar prasyarat berhubung kemantapan pengurusan, amalan tata kelola baik yang ketat dan nilai tambah dapat diambil kira.



Janganlah kerajaan mengulangi kesilapan dalam penggabungan tiga gergasi perladangan iaitu Sime Darby, Guthrie dan Golden Hope yang disandarkan semata-mata kepada yuran rundingan dan laba yang bakal diperolehi oleh para perantara (broker) dan penasihat termasuklah CIMB yang rapat dengan Perdana Menteri.



Perdana Menteri juga mengumumkan pembinaan projek-projek melalui kaedah perkongsian awam dan swasta (PPP) termasuklah pembinaan hospital wanita dan kanak-kanak melibatkan perbelanjaan RM700 juta.



Saya memberi ingatan supaya projek ini dilaksanakan dengan penuh ketelusan dan bertata kelola termasuklah dengan memastikan ia menggunakan bidaan terbuka, supaya harganya berpatutan kerana kita faham bila sahaja dipanggil perkongsian awam dan swasta, maknanya perkongsiannya begini: untung dikaut oleh swasta, kerugian dan kos ditanggung oleh awam dan rakyat.



Saya juga kesal dengan cara Perdana Menter yang tidak segan silu mengumumkan projek-projek yang bermasalah kerana diberikan kepada krono seolah-olah ia projek baru demi kesejahteraan rakyat. Peruntukan projek pembangunan dibawah RMK10 bagi tahun 2012 berjumlah RM49.2 bilion contohnya melibatkan pembinaan Lebuhraya Pantai Timur Jabor-Kuala Terengganu yang tidak siap-siap dan telah pun menelan belanja yang tinggi, akibat pembabitan pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan sedangkan fasa yang dibina oleh MTD di antara Sungai Besi ke Ajil telah pun dibuka.



Akhir sekali, saya wajar menyentuh mengenai peruntukan RM40 juta untuk membina lebih banyak Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia.



Saya tidak begitu mempersoalkan tindakan kerajaan mahu memberi bantuan melalui subsidi barangan secara terus di kedai-kedai runcit. Saya juga tidak mahu mempersoalkan cara Perdana Menteri menggunakan wang rakyat untuk terus mempromosikan jenama 1Malaysia beliau, asalkan rakyat mendapat manfaat.



Namun, kenapa hanya satu pihak dan pengusaha iaitu Mydin yang dipilih untuk mendapat bantuan subsidi terus ini, sedangkan pembinaan lebih banyak kedai sebegini akan mematikan kedai-kedai runcit rakyat terbanyak di seluruh Malaysia?



Apakah kerajaan tidak boleh mencari sebuah kedai runcit yang maju dan berdaya saing di setiap daerah yang ingin dibantu, agar bantuan tersebut akan memberi lebih manfaat kepada lebih ramai pengusaha kedai runcit, bukannya membantu melebarkan sayap pengusaha sebuah pasaraya besar yang akan mematikan pengusaha kecil di kampung-kampung? Sudahlah selama ini mereka terpaksa bersaing dengan pasaraya besar, kini kedai runcit pun mahu dibolot dan diberi bantuan terus oleh kerajaan.



Sebab itu saya memohon dewan menerima hakikat bahawa belanjawan 2012 ini tidak lebih dari senarai hadiah-hadiah kepada kroni dan golongan berkepentingan. Ratusan billion akan dibelanjakan semata-mata kerana kroni akan diterus didahulukan, projek-projek diberi keutamaan, kemudian sisa bakinya barulah diagihkan kepada rakyat.





BAB 5: ANJAKAN STRUKTUR EKONOMI
Tan Sri Yang diPertua


Dewan yang mulia seharusnya sedar pengumuman-pengumuman yang terkandung dalam Belanjawan 2012 oleh Perdana Menteri adalah gula-gula yang membebankan rakyat tetapi tidak menghasilkan sebarang anjakan perubahan kepada struktur ekonomi negara.



Pengumuman kenaikan gaji dan bonus kepada kakitangan awam adalah tidak berasaskan kepada sebarang pendekatan ekonomi, berbeza dengan pendekatan Pakatan Rakyat melalui pengenalan gaji minima yang akan memanfaatkan kesemua tenaga kerja di negara ini.



Sebab itu kerajaan tidak boleh memandang remeh kemarahan pekerja sektor swasta yang merasakan mereka diketepikan semata-mata kerana kerajaan ingin memikat undi dari penjawat awam.



Begitu juga dengan pelepasan cukai berkaitan teksi yang membabitkan jumlah maksima bantuan sebanyak RM7,560 setahun. Perdana Menteri boleh berpura-pura berbangga dengan bantuan itu, tetapi jangan lupa rintihan sebenar pemandu teksi dibebankan sejumlah RM21,000 setahun kerana bayaran kepada pemegang konsesi. Bantuan RM7,560 setahun itu pun hanyalah kepada mereka yang memilih untuk menukar kenderaan teksi, tetapi bagi sebahagian besar pemandu teksi mereka masih perlu membayar yuran yang mencekik darah kepada pemegang konsesi lesen teksi, sebahagiannya terdiri dari Yang Berhormat di dalam dewan ini.



Perdana Menteri menyenaraikan beberapa subsidi makanan yang diberikan kepada rakyat seolah-olah ia diberikan ehsan kerajaan. Janganlah kita lupa bahawa amanah mentadbir wang rakyat itu datangnya dari rakyat dan ia boleh ditarik balik bila-bila masa, seperti kerajaan sewenang-wenangnya menarik subsidi sehingga menaikkan harga barangan.



Kerajaan berbangga dengan subsidi gula 20 sen setiap kilogram yang diberikan kepada rakyat, tetapi buat-buat lupa bahawa kerajaan jugalah yang menaikkan harga gula sehinga ia 60% lebih mahal sekarang berbanding sebelum Perdana Menteri mengambil alih kuasa.



Perdana Menteri nampaknya cukup berbangga dengan bayaran-bayaran yang diumumkan seperti bantuan persekolahan, bonus kepada bekas perajurit dan lain-lain. Saya nasihatkan supaya Perdana Menteri jangan senyum terlalu lama kerana rakyat tahu bahawa bayaran itu hanyalah bayaran sekali sahaja dalam tahun 2012 yang tidak berkekalan dan berbentuk gula-gula. Jika mereka termakan gula-gula tersebut, selepas pilihanraya kelak rakyat terpaksa memulangkan kembali bayaran-bayaran tersebut melalui cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan yang akan diperkenalkan oleh Perdana Menteri.



Namun saya yakin rakyat boleh menilai perkara-perkara ini, kerana mereka juga sedar bahawa bayaran yang besar diberikan kepada golongan yang rapat dengan Umno/Barisan Nasional termasuk bayaran sejumlah RM3,000 kepada bekas petugas KEMAS dan JASA yang lebih tinggi daripada bentuk-bentuk bantuan lain.

Tan Sri Yang diPertua,



Belanjawan yang bertanggungjawab mesti menetapkan dasar-dasar yang akan mengubah struktur ekonomi dan membolehkan anjakan, bukannya pengumuman pemberian hadiah satu tahun sahaja.



Perbandingan dengan Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2012 akan menunjukkan bagaimana belanjawan kami menumpukan usaha kembali kepada kerangka dasar serta berusaha menyelesaikan masalah asas:



Pengenalan gaji minima untuk melonjakkan paras gaji pekerja seterusnya membantu rakyat berhadapan dengan tekanan kos sara hidup
Menghapuskan monopoli dan merombak struktur harga barang-barang komoditi dan kepenggunaan (termasuklah monopoli BERNAS, AP dan lain-lain) untuk menghapuskan herotan harga dan menurunkan harga secara drastik
Memperuntukkan subsidi secara berpatutan kepada rakyat dengan mengalihkan peruntukan yang digunapakai oleh sektor korporat dan monopoli sebelum ini
Memberi penekanan kepada latihan teknikal dan vokasional termasuk melalui universiti teknikal untuk menyediakan graduan dan tenaga kerja yang berpadanan dengan kehendak industri
Peruntukan RM6.9 bilion sebagai pakej bantuan terus (direct assistance package) untuk golongan sasaran
Agihan sumber antara pusat dan negeri yang lebih adil mengikut pindaan capitation grant

BAB 7: PENUTUP


Rakyat akan menilai janji-janji yang terkandung di dalam Belanjawan 2012 dan Perdana Menteri mempunyai masa yang suntuk sebelum keadaan ekonomi global makin tidak menentu.



Sewajarnya Perdana Menteri menunaikan janji-janji terdahulu sebelum cuba menambah janji-janji baru ini, bermula dengan janji reformasi pilihanraya dan pemansuhan ISA yang perlu disegerakan.



Saya juga mengingatkan dewan supaya kita insaf bahawa reformasi ekonomi yang berkekalan adalah mustahil tanpa iltizam untuk merubah pendekatan politik dan pentadbiran yang diamalkan pemerintah sekarang. Tidak ada reformasi ekonomi tanpa reformasi politik yang menyeluruh.



Jika Perdana Menteri gagal melaksanakan harapan dan tuntutan-tuntutan rakyat ini, nescaya segala usaha menjelmakan dan menjenamakan semula dasar dan program-program yang gagal tidak akan berjaya meredakan hasrat rakyat yang mahukan perubahan.




Dengan ingatan itu kepada diri saya dan seluruh dewan, saya sudahi dengan wassalam.

pywong
13th October 2011, 10:13 PM
Najib is getting better. Previously, he had to change his growth projections within 2 hours.

This time, his projection lasted for 1 whole week before it had to be revised downward.

Keep at it, Jibby. You may get good enough by the time the nation goes bankrupt!

MIER trims GDP estimates as global economic slump bites (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mier-trims-gdp-estimates-as-global-economic-slump-bites/)


By Lee Wei Lian
October 13, 2011
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/images/uploads/mugshots/najibrazak400px15.jpgMIER said Najib’s Budget 2012 will not be able to make up for a slump in external demand. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) cut to 4.6 per cent, from 5.2 per cent, its projection for the country’s economic growth this year, citing a sliding global economy that it said could hurt exports.The government-funded MIER also downgraded its estimates for 2012 to 5.5 per cent, which is within the Najib administration’s projected growth range of between five and six per cent.
Some market and bank analysts have described next year’s projections as too rosy, with RHB Research Institute saying this week that Malaysia’s economic growth could slow to just 3.6 per cent next year, from a projected 4.3 per cent, this year due to the increasing risk of a double dip global recession.

MIER executive director Zakariah Abdul Rashid said today that while the 2012 Budget unveiled last Friday will help boost private consumption, it will not be able to offset a slump in external demand.

“The 2012 Budget is insufficient to overcome external weakness,” he said in a briefing today.

Zakariah said that MIER’s tentative forecast for next year was five per cent, pending the collection of more data at the upcoming National Economic Outlook Conference meeting next month.

“We will not be able to say confidently it is five per cent,” he added.

Most research houses have estimated growth at less than five per cent for next year, with Bank of America Global Research predicting Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 4.2 per cent in 2012.

Maybank Investment Bank said it expected Malaysia’s GDP to expand at between 3.5 and four per cent, and CIMB Investment Bank forecast a GDP growth of 3.8 per cent next year.

MIER’s Business Conditions Index, which tracks domestic manufacturing, dropped by 9.6 points to 104.5 in the third quarter from the second quarter.
The CEO Confidence Index, meanwhile, also fell from 111.9 to and 93.3 points.

The Consumer Sentiment Index rose slightly, however, to 108.7 points but remained below the 115.8 point level seen during the same period last year.
In his Budget 2012 proposals, Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised cash handouts, more money for civil servants, schools and a fund for “high-impact development” projects as part of measures to put money in the pockets of the majority of Malaysians who live in the lower income group.

The government will offer a one-off RM500 cash handout to households with a monthly income of less than RM3,000, a RM100 cash aid and RM200 book vouchers for students from the Budget, which is forecast to only have a 4.7 per cent fiscal deficit, down from the projected 5.4 per cent this year.
Authorities will trim development spending and maintain subsidies to keep prices down, while banking on low borrowing costs and a healthy job market to keep economic growth on an even keel next year.

The 2012 Budget funds for subsidies is expected to total RM33.2 billion.

pywong
14th October 2011, 01:12 PM
Najib's last gamble: Using GST to pay for Budget 2012's cash incentives (http://malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=21120:najibs-last-gamble-using-gst-to-pay-for-budget-2012s-cash-incentives&Itemid=2)


Written by Rafizi Ramli
http://malaysia-chronicle.com/media/k2/items/cache/c4b8741b1c1b264e40b9a7c84e2d1238_S.jpg (http://malaysia-chronicle.com/media/k2/items/cache/c4b8741b1c1b264e40b9a7c84e2d1238_XL.jpg)


Recent economic reports show that the growth predictions of the Prime Minister unveiled in Budget 2012 are not realistic. The latest is the projection made by the Malaysian Institute of Economics Research (MIER), which lowered its projection of 2011 economic growth to 4.6%.


Based on the global economic reality, the 5%-6% growth target will be diifficult to achieve. This will affect the national income for the year 2012 caused by the decrease in the collection of taxes and other revenue following slower economic growth in 2012.


Barisan Nasional needs to borrow at least RM46 billion to pay for the Budget 2012 deficit, if the economic growth rate is at 5%-6% for the year 2012. At the same time, the capability of the government to raise bonds and other means of loans in 2012 is limited due to the nation’s debt ceiling which is capped at 55% of the Gross Domestic Product under these two Acts - the Akta Pinjaman (Tempatan) 1959 and Akta Pendanaan Kerajaan 1983.


The national debt has already reached 53% of GDP based on official figures released by Bank Negara Malaysia in June 2011, therefore any new debt will contravene the country’s laws.
Najib's last gamble


I am of the opinion that the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional administration are not well-informed with regards to the economic figures and the government’s debt limit under those two Acts. I am also sure that the Prime Minister was advised that the 5%-6% growth prediction used in the Budget 2012 is not realistic.


This brings us to one conclusion.


The Budget 2012, which costs RM232 billion in total, at a time when the national income would not be able to service it and given the limitation in the government’s ability to borrow confirms the intention of the Prime Minister to immediately implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the Barisan Nasional wins GE-13.


This is a gamble taken by the Prime Minister with the intention to pull wool over the people’s eyes, offering sweets starting with the payment in January 2012, which will be taxed back through GST once GE-13 is over
.
Thus, the PKR political bureau has decided along with our Pakatan Rakyat colleagues to bring the GST issue to the attention of the people. There is no doubt GST should be the main GE-13 issue so that the people understand exactly what it means to vote for BN. In fact, "Voting for BN means Voting for GST”.
- Rafizi Ramli is the director of strategy for Parti Keadilan Rakyat

pywong
14th October 2011, 01:44 PM
A budget for the polls battle ahead (http://malaysiakini.com/news/178616)





Neil Khor
11:47AM Oct 14, 2011







Budget 2012 is a bag of goodies. Even the mainstream press is calling it an "election budget". There is no attempt to disguise the "do or die" battle ahead.


Several columnists have even asked the government to take advantage of the good mood generated by the budget announcement to hold the elections quickly to make the best of things.


An election budget, like the power to call for an election at the moment most suitable for the government of the day, is an example of the power of incumbency. It gives special advantage to the government to win as many votes as possible.


http://media1-cdn.malaysiakini.com/402/b4064a625959adf0e5e6a10455c24dce.jpgA full belly will mean citizens are more likely to close one eye to its short-comings. All the government needs is for citizens who are not inclined to it to not go to the polling booths.


For those who are about to shout out loud that this is an unfair advantage and therefore morally reprehensible, the answer is do not be naïve.


If the situation were reversed, the politicians on the other side of the fence would do the same. The point of politics is to come to power and once in power to stay in power forever.


Political power, the complexities ahead


The problem is stay in power to do what? As Malaysia becomes wealthier and more educated, the point of politics becomes more complex.


If in the 1950s, coming to power was coming into one's own, to be independent of colonial rule; "Merdeka" was no longer enough to stay in power in the 1970s as citizens wanted "development".


That mantra finally expired in the noughties (2000s) with the emergence of urban voters with aspirations beyond having water, electricity and a roof over their heads. There was just so much Suria KLCC can do to win their votes.


In mature democracies, a change of government is no big deal. It allows the exhausted party to return to the Opposition bench to mull over their ideology and address their shortcomings.


It also allows those from the Opposition bench to be in the seat of power and learn that with power comes responsibility.


http://media1-cdn.malaysiakini.com/361/373435cc3d1a14efd7f86065bdfd3b73.jpgThis has happened in Penang, Kedah and Selangor and the tenor of the Opposition is certainly more measured than before when they had no experience of governing.


The same cannot be said for the Opposition bench in those states, many of whom are unused to not being in power and a few still delusional enough to behave as though they have not lost power.


Lessons left to be learnt


One would like to believe that politicians have finally figured out what happened in the 2008 general election and that moving forward we are heading towards a better Malaysia whichever side wins. The Opposition's case is quite settled.


Their alternative budget shows that they are able to come up with coherent policies if they come to power. No doubt a bit idealistic but at least it is not one of those budgets cooked up by well-meaning but completely unrealistic products of idealism.


As for performance, the electorate will have a chance to judge based upon their performance in Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan.


The case today is that of the BN government. An election budget is an indicator of whether the government is on the right track, whether it feels the pulse of its citizens.
But it is very much a double-edged sword, revealing whether the government is only interested in short-term gains.


Dubbed a transformative budget, there is little doubt that the government is giving most to its vote bank: rural folk, civil servants and pensioners.


The first group is more dependent on government policy and because of the way parliamentary constituencies are delineated is a major vote bank. With rapid urbanization, one rural vote is worth at least three urban votes. It makes sense to give this group the most of the budget.


The second group, civil servants, who are supposed to be loyal to the government of the day, used to be another solid vote bank.


Malaysia has never seen a change of government and after more than five decades, civil servant loyalty is passed down from generation to generation.


But four states are governed by the Opposition, so it is important that civil servants be kept happy hence the special allocation for them and the retreat from Mahathir-era reforms that attempted to promote based upon performance rather than seniority.


Yearning for the past factor


Lastly, pensioners are the best bet not because they are most dependent on government generosity but because they remember a BN government that was stable and powerful.


http://media1-cdn.malaysiakini.com/257/60e506a67d0fbaca2fe6a757a5e27a28.jpgMany would be happy to return to those days and will do everything to put aside whatever dissatisfaction they may feel towards the government of the day because of inflation and other life challenging issues.


What one may ask is really transformative of the budget? Will affirmative action be based upon need rather than ethnicity? This was the New Deal that the MCA promised if voters would return its candidates to power.


What about the "open tender" process practiced in Opposition-held states like Penang? These states seem to be chugging along fine with development and foreign direct investments flowing in.


In the case of Penang, bumiputera contractors have come out to defend the state government for its fair distribution of contracts!


Obviously, the allocations for governmental vote banks is its prerogative and one cannot begrudge fellow Malaysians from this balm that they will soon receive. But a responsible government will use the budget to meet future challenges as assiduously as winning votes.


For a budget that takes into account a future global recession, minimise budgetary leakages and invests in Malaysia's future competitiveness is winning future vote banks.


Eight years from today, more than 70 percent of Malaysians will live in urban areas, the current vote bank of the government would become irrelevant.


More acutely, with rapid technological developments, the gap between urban and rural is fast disappearing. There is little doubt that an opportunity may have been lost to truly transform Malaysia and build up its resilience to face a volatile and more difficult world economy.


Yes, a few votes may have been won and for a government that feels itself under siege, crucial votes to remain in power. It seems, to remain in power to deal with a yawning deficit and face more challenging times, is a noble intention indeed. Lets hope the government of the day has not forgotten why it wants to remain in power.


Usually, the Auditor-General's Report will be released together or slightly before the Budget. Why is this not the case this year? The government must know that it is suffering from a trust deficit. It cannot continue to practice the old type of policies associated with the 1950s and 1970s - give them piped water and electricity, throw money at a problem - and hope to win the next general election.


The Auditor-General's Report will have to be released at some point and all the feel good feelings now will surely dissipate. It seems the lessons of the past remain unheeded. It is not how much money is allocated, it is how it reaches the people.



NEIL KHOR completed his PhD at Cambridge University and now writes occasionally on matters that he thinks requires better historical treatment. He is quietly optimistic about Malaysia's future.

pywong
15th October 2011, 07:50 PM
3 main concerns not addressed by the Budget (http://aliran.com/6847.html)


By Aliran, on 11 October 2011

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj reacts to a sugary budget that fails to tackle the serious challenges facing the nation.

http://aliran.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Budget-2012.jpg (http://aliran.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Budget-2012.jpg)Graphic: FMT



Every year, once the Budget is read by the Finance Minister, the BN sycophants will fall over each other in trying to give a positive spin to it.


Tomorrow we will see the same tired phrases repeated in the mainstream papers – “a people’s budget”, “a caring budget”, “budget from the heart”, “with goodies for everyone”, and other sugary phrases which are meant to make everyone believe in the benevolence of the BN government.

Sure there are some points that are positive – the abolishment of all school fees, for example, which though is only about RM200 per student, will give real relief to the 40 per cent of families whose total monthly income is less than RM2300. The allocation of RM100m each for Tamil primary schools, Chinese primary schools and religious schools will be of great help to these partly aided schools. And there are several other examples like these.

An objective assessment of a national budget, however, has to go deeper than this. You just can’t juxtapose a few goodies for disparate sectors and use that to argue that it is a great budget! A national budget is a blueprint detailing how the government of the day plans to tackle the main economic problems facing the nation.

So what are the main economic problems facing the nation? I think that there are three main ones:
There is a real possibility of a serious recession in the next 12 months. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the USA may precipitate this. How would this affect us, a nation that exports almost 60 per cent of what we produce? How should we prepare ourselves for such an eventuality?

Liberalisation of the economy and the reliance on the free market to supply basic necessities such as health care, water, education and housing have led to financial hardship for the 80 per cent of families earning less than RM5300 per month. How do we address this problem?

The leakages are enormous. Government procurements are at prices that are up to three times their actual market value. The development budget is about RM45bn, and the allocation for supplies and services is another RM30bn. At a conservative guesstimate that half of this money will go into the pocket of cronies through over-priced contracts and quotations, the country will lose RM37.5bn in the course of 2012. (To put this amount in proper perspective, the total budget for the Selangor State Government for 2010 was less than RM1.5bn!)
Sad to say, none of these crucial issues are addressed in this budget.


The Government planners seem oblivious to the possibility of a recession. They talk glibly about sound fundamentals, of robust growth in India and China without taking into account that 8 per cent growth in GDP of US$1.5 trillion (India) and US$3.3 trillion (China) is not enough to counter a drop of 4 per cent in the US GDP (US$12 trillion) and the combined GDP of the EU which is of a similar magnitude! And in any case, China’s and India’s growth rates also depends to a certain extent on exports to the US and the EU; so their growth rates will also be brought down by a recession in the West!

There are several things we can do to cushion the effect of a serious recession. One would be would be to quickly implement the Retrenchment Fund that the MTUC, PSM, Jerit and other labour groups have been asking for. Another would be to put off expensive infrastructure work and keep those funds aside to ensure that the rakyat’s basic needs are met perhaps through the issuing of food stamps if there are people who cannot find re-employment for some months.

As for the issue of liberalisation, it appears that Najib and his planners have no doubts in their mind, although ordinary people the world over are coming out to protest neoliberal policies. The liberalisation of another 17 service sub-sectors – including private hospitals – was announced in the budget. Now a foreign company can set up a private hospital in Malaysia. The fact that this will accelerate the brain drain and weaken the government sector on which 75 per cent of our population depend seems to have been deemed unimportant by our Finance Minister!

As plugging leakages, there is nothing but lip service and a whole set of acronyms such as “SRI”, “GTP” and “ETP” among others, which do not seem to have reduced the pilfering of public funds significantly. There do not seem to be any new believable initiatives in the 2012 Budget to stem the haemorrhage of public funds.


The 2012 Budget fails to address the crucial economic issues facing the nation. This can only mean one thing – those entrusted with the stewardship of this country and its economy, are certainly not up to mark. Its high time they are replaced!


Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, an Aliran member, is the MP for Sungai Siput
Related posts:


Budget 2011 for big boys, civil servants (http://aliran.com/2984.html)
Why I can’t support Najib’s Budget (http://aliran.com/1087.html)
Best bloated bureaucracy! (http://aliran.com/4771.html)
‘Gov’t misled public over RM74bn subsidy burden’ (http://aliran.com/6384.html)
Tax reliefs: Hidden subsidies that favour the rich (http://aliran.com/6826.html)

pywong
15th October 2011, 09:24 PM
Budget 2012: Tale of a bloated bureaucracy and half-truths (http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/15/budget-2012-tale-of-a-bloated-bureaucracy-and-half-truths/)


Joe Fernandez (http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/author/joe/)
| October 15, 2011
It's old wine in a new bottle and the operating expenditures, at nearly 80%, will gobble up the overwhelming bulk of the national budget
ANALYSIS
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Budget-2011-300x202.jpg (http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/10/07/no-increase-in-highway-tolls/budget-2011/)The Budget 2012 announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is no different from the one for this year. Development gets comparatively a measly RM50 billion while operating expenditures, at nearly 80%, will gobble up the overwhelming bulk of the national budget.


Yet few have commented so far on this “Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi” budget. Najib trumpeted that the budget was the collective effort of many brilliant minds, including PhDs, diligently at work within the government.


He pooh-poohed claims by the opposition alliance that it was a copy-cat job based on their own version. The opposition, at the same time, said the budget was unrealistic.Najib rightly gloated over the opposition putting its foot in the mouth.We haven’t heard the last of this.


Najib, however, couldn’t get the PhDs to explain why the RM50 billion allocated for this year’s development targets is a measly sum by comparison with that allocated for those charged with supervising this so-called development.


The projects started so far this year face cost-overruns. This has resulted in either the scrapping or carrying forward of a good percentage of the projects planned for 2011. This makes 2012 old wine in a new bottle.


It has become almost routine for government development projects to finally cost the tax-payers double, triple and even up to 10 times the initially approved allocation. Old habits die hard as evident from the politics of patronage, far from being in its death throes, still taking centre-stage in Umno.


The proverbial “getting caught with the hand in the cookie jar” syndrome continues unabated as if there will be no tomorrow. How will all this translate into the national debt burden and the value of the currency in the years ahead? It remains to be seen.


However, if we look around, we don’t have to look too far in the global village ushered in by the digital economy brought about by globalisation and the information and communication technology.


The continuing tragedy of Greece comes to mind. The Mediterranean nation, run by a bloated bureaucracy as in Malaysia, has become more than insolvent and muddles through from day-to-day largely on international charity.


The mother of all cover-ups in the Budget 1012 is the increasing toll that the bloated bureaucracy, already 1.3 million strong, is exacting on the nation’s increasingly precarious finances.


‘The ight evils bedeviling Malaysia’


At one time, not so long ago, the government decided that the then one million strong civil service needed to be trimmed and embarked on an aggressive round of corporatisation and privatisations.


This brought down the number of civil servants to 800,000 but not for long. The figures were soon on the ri se again and surged past 1.2 million with the government not even batting an eyelid. Babudom had won hands down against their political masters.


Wither all the corporatisation and privatisation exercises! The Babus themselves had dutifully worked on the twin strategies - amidst much breast-beating, wailing, moaning and groaning – at the behest of their political masters.


It appears that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. The latter was getting the government to be even more firmly entrenched in the business of being in business. The former, meanwhile, was getting it out and away on the premise that “the government has no business being in business”.


Alas the Babus enmeshed in the world of red tape quickly negated whatever benefits the nation could have drawn from corporatisation and privatisation. Now, we no longer hear any talk about corporatisation and privatisation and the need to trim the civil service to a more financially manageable limit.


Malaysia does not need a civil service which exceeds 500,000, a magical figure based on merit and productivity. Alas, it will not be, given the gutless wonders in public office.


Patently, the eight evils bedeviling Malaysia’s national budget every year are the permanent dole system that the civil service has since become, the welfare state system enjoyed by a privileged few from womb to tomb, the subsidy syndrome, the dependency syndrome fostered on the rural people by a ruling party eyeing a captive vote bank, the politics of patronage, the Licence Raj, the system of government procurements, tenders, contracts, concessions, licences, quotas and permits, and the underhand practice of padding the electoral rolls in marginal seats – think slush funds – with illegal immigrants.


It’s unthinkable for Umno in particular to introduce the kind of reforms that will downsize the civil service and free the work force for the private sector. The party isn’t likely to do away either with the other crippling practices that reduced the nation’s economy last year end to one size smaller than that of neighbouring Singapore.


Some measure of the national budget not telling the whole story in Malaysia can be gleaned from four recent and not so recent developments.


For one, neighbouring Thailand has announced that the country will introduce a nationwide minimum wage of RM900 per month. Malaysia has yet to do so and is thinking of a much lower figure sector by sector.


India, in a “take it or leave it” stance, will not allow its nationals to work as domestic help in Malaysia unless they are paid at least RM1,400 per month. That was enough to send many potential Malaysian employers up the wall.


Adding insult to injury, Cambodia declared last night (Oct 14, 2011) that it will join Indonesia and no longer allow its nationals to work as domestic help in Malaysia.

pywong
20th October 2011, 08:10 PM
A LAYMAN'S INTERPRETATION OF NAJIB'S 2012 BUDGET

Being only a retired military officer, I may be blind to the economic facts, but certainly not stupid to swallow a pack of untruths (I do not like to use the word lies).

Firstly, a bunch of 'one off" handouts that mainly makes the civil servants, soldiers,policemen,pensioners happy.

Then some populist moves across the board to give everyone hope.

Now, I wonder and ask some searching questions:

1. Is there a long term investment beyond 2012 in the budget?

Nyet,Nadai,Nien,Bo liau,Tadak,Yillai!!!! So, is it wrong for me to assume that the whole idea is to con the people into an election victory and then do the fire fighting/damage control etc. later? How often have you heard recently from govt depts, "Allocation ada, duit belum terima". Here, they were playing a mahjong game, with the skills of a Tai Chi exponent. It gets us by, believe me, but it doesn't solve the problem.

2. How can Jibby confidently predict a 5 to 6 % GDP growth in 2012 to "afford" the expenditure, when the world is on the brink of an impendingdouble dip recession?

I would guess that 4 to 4.5% would be more realistic at most.

Now here lies the biggest failure.

THERE IS NO CONTINGENCY WHATSOEVER IF THE RECESSION KICKS IN!!!! Remember, failure to plan is planning a failure.

3. How is the deficit gap going to close?

There is no clear cut plans onprudent spending against added revenue collection. The Capital Gains Tax increase is a drop in the ocean. More money can be collected from stamp duties due to the volume of transactions anyway. Yes, there is transformation; from one area of unproductiveness to another area of unproductiveness. Budget deficits translate into debts. Debt servicing was RM12.8 billion in 2008. For 2012, it is estimated to be RM20.5 billion - an increase of nearly 60%." Let's do the math-take interest rate at 5%, RM12.8 billion debt service charges in 2008 would make federal government debt at RM256 billion. Now with debt service charges at RM20.5 billion, the federal government's debt is projected at RM410 billion. This is an increase of RM154 billion from 2008 to 2012, an average increase of RM38.5 billion per year. That would now be the nation's annual actual deficit!!!!!

Yes, I have tears in my eyes too, because my children will have to pay for it.

4. Where is Jibby going to get the money? Yes, from us, my friends, the long suffering 1.7 million tax payers. The long awaited GST will be shoved in after the election. Mark my words.The EPF (Employees Provident Fund) and other government-linked funds will be asked to do national service by investing in debt papers issued by the government. Again, a case of using the peoples'money to bail out a financially weak government.

So, in essence I say, look at the forest my dear friends and now tell me how they are ruining my beloved Malaysia. Call me a pessimist, non believer, not a risk taker etc. but I ask- CAN YOU RUN A COUNTRY ON BORROWED TIME?

The answer is YES! If you are a leader living on borrowed time.

May God Bless Us All.

pywong
21st October 2011, 07:00 AM
World economy: EIU forecast – Downgrading the euro zone and the US (http://viewswire.eiu.com/index.asp?layout=VWArticleVW3&article_id=348524419&region_id=1510000351&refm=vwReg&page_title=Latest+regional+analysis&fs=true&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRons6nJZKXonjHpfsX66usrX6Wg38 431UFwdcjKPmjr1YEBTcN0dvycMRAVFZl5nQlRD7I%3D&rf=0)
http://graphics.eiu.com/s.gif


October 20th 2011
Printer version (http://viewswire.eiu.com/index.asp?layout=VWPrintVW3&article_id=348524419&printer=printer)



http://graphics.eiu.com/s.gif



FROM THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT
(Forecast closing date: October 14th 2011)


Global economic conditions have deteriorated. The debt crisis in the euro zone has badly hit European growth prospects, and concerns are mounting about the potential knock-on effect on the US economy. This month the Economist Intelligence Unit has accordingly lowered its forecasts for both the euro zone and the US. We now think that the euro zone will suffer an outright contraction in GDP in 2012, and that US growth will fall below 1.5%.


World GDP will grow by 3.3% in purchasing-power-parity (PPP) terms in 2012. This would mark a slowdown from expected growth of 3.7% in 2011 and almost 5% the year before that. (In 2010, global growth was boosted by massive policy stimulus, the effects of which have sadly now faded.) We forecast that global growth will pick up to 4% in PPP terms in 2013.


The existential crisis affecting the European single currency remains at the epicentre of global economic risk. We still think that, on balance, policymakers will do just enough to ensure the euro's survival, but the crisis is taking an increasingly heavy toll on both the financial sector and the real economy. European banks remain under severe pressure because of fears over their exposure to potentially non-performing sovereign debt. Global financial markets are transmitting this uncertainty—along with broader doubts over the viability of the single currency—to the rest of the world.


All this is eroding consumer and business confidence. It is compounding the effects of other recent shocks to the global economy, which have included the Arab uprisings and the March 2011 tsunami in Japan. The threat of recession in Europe and the US is also being felt in emerging markets, many of which are big exporters to the West. Some emerging markets are concerned enough to be re-evaluating or reversing course on monetary policy, having previously focused on the risks of rising inflation. Because of the deteriorating growth outlook for the euro zone and the US, we have lowered our 2012 GDP forecasts for most emerging markets—including for China, India, Russia and Brazil.


Is there any good news? Many economic indicators in the US are still positive. US companies still have lots of cash to expand if—and this remains a big "if"—they feel confident enough to do so. The big rise in US productivity in the past two years also suggests that businesses have squeezed all they can out of efficiency gains and will now have to hire and invest in order to grow. The easing of oil prices from their mid-2011 highs should give some support to economic activity, particularly in the US. Interest rates remain at or near record lows in many countries. Nonetheless, the overriding picture is one of economic gloom.

pywong
16th April 2012, 05:15 PM
GDP Growth Rate: Last Octoble, our great Finance Minister projected a growth rate of 5 - 6% for 2012 in his budget speech (http://www.tindakmalaysia.com/threads/3962-Economics-Malaysian-2012-Budget?p=11209#post11209). Today, his lackey in the PM's dept declares that World Bank's projection of 4.6% GDP (http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/04/16/world-banks-projection-of-4-6-pct-gdp-growth-for-msia-is-good-news-says-nor-mohamed/)growth for M'sia is good news - Excuse me. How does a drop of 1% in growth rate become good news?

These UMNO-clods have been in power for too long. They become stupider by the day!


World Bank’s projection of 4.6 pct GDP growth for M’sia is good news, says Nor Mohamed Posted on April 16, 2012, Monday

http://cdn.theborneopost.com/newsimages/2012/04/A4354.jpg (http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/04/16/world-banks-projection-of-4-6-pct-gdp-growth-for-msia-is-good-news-says-nor-mohamed/a4354/)Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop


KEPALA BATAS: The World Bank’s projection that Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)will continue to register strong growth in 2012 at about 4.6 per cent is good news for the country.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said this clearly showed the World Bank’s confidence in Malaysia by also stating it was a realistic projection.

“In Europe the GDP may just be one or two per cent. Even for the United Kingdom it is less than two per cent. Two per cent is also considered high among some countries. Many countries can’t even achieve more than three per cent. This is good news for Malaysia,” he added.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the 9th Convocation Ceremony of the Community College for Perlis, Kedah and Penang here yesterday.

Nor Mohamed, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor, said even in the context of an uncertain global economy, Malaysia could still attain a GDP projection of 4.6 per cent.

“Malaysia can achieve a GDP growth of five per cent if all concerned played their part by working harder.

“By doing so and based on domestic consumption which will be a very significant element
this year along with high commodity prices, we can be confident of achieving five per cent,” he added. — Bernama



Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/04/16/world-banks-projection-of-4-6-pct-gdp-growth-for-msia-is-good-news-says-nor-mohamed/#ixzz1sC2KThFe