Is Budget 2013 a handout plan of UMNO/BN

The budget 2013 seems all about the survival of BN government in the coming GE13. It’s only focus was how the promised handouts have been promptly delivered and more promises of new handouts to please voters. The Budget presentation by finance minister was more political bashing of Pakatan Rakyat and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that financial planning of 2013. Total spending in budget 2013 increased by 20 billion whereas revenue increased only 2 billion.  Datuk Najib Tun Razak did not provide a long term solution to the rising cost of living and wages stagnation but harped on the one time handouts for electoral gains.

By 2011 Malaysia’s national debt has reached RM456 billion from RM 229 billion in 2005. Yet Datuk Najib Tun Razak did not address the concern of mounting debt instead he was more jingoistic and chest beating that he has given more handout to voters. Will the nation prosper and the peoples’ wellbeing enhanced by giving handouts financed through debts? The high spending now will have to be recovered by higher taxes and subsidy cuts in future. A responsible government would eradicate toll charges and stop selling essential goods like water, rice, electricity, Medical services and higher education etc for profit. These services should be sold at lower prices and better services. These steps will reduce cost of living.  

Past mistakes and scandals and misappropriations highlighted in 2012 AG’s report are all swipe under the carpet. BN government never want to learn and therefore rent seeking, cronies getting lucrative contracts and government bailing them out goes unhindered with no sense of guilt. GLCs have spiraled in every other industries competing and undermining the growth of private entrepreneurs and securing lucrative contracts for their cronies. Najib’s Budget clearly does not give any hope of redress to the structural defects imbedded in the Malaysian economy. Crony monopolies and negotiated huge tenders enrich UMNO cronies and those in power and not private enterprises.

To develop SMEs an amount of 1 billion is set aside for SME Corp. There is no transparency and accountability of how these monies are spent. In Budget 2013 more policemen are recruited to prevent crime. But crime prevention has to be tackled at the root cause. The social injustice, corruption in police force, racism and the presence of about 4 million legal and illegal foreign workers are driving out Malaysian unskilled workers out of work. In fact more and more foreigners are now involved in retail and small businesses competing with locals. All these issues are not addressed in the budget.

1.5 million Professionals and skilled Malaysians have migrated out contributing to the development of other counties. BN government has failed to develop plans to attract them back. Budget 2013 did not address fundamental issues that are preventing Malaysia from attaining the high income status target of 2020.      

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was more focused on bashing and taking pot shots on the opposition then putting forward a financial plan that will strengthen Malaysia to face the global economic crisis. UMNO/BN wants to stay in power at all cost even if it means Malaysia becoming uncompetitive and corrupted. Malaysians must rise up to save Malaysia from the clutches of the 55 year old corrupted regime.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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