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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Budget 2012- hardly transformative

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. .

36 comments:

Anonymous,  8 October 2011 at 19:13  

Syabas Dato'...I am glad you have the acuity to see through the gimmicky and fiscal irresponsibility. Sadly, you are a lone voice amidst the present orgasmic euphoria. The Greek scenario cannot be too far off for us !

Anonymous,  8 October 2011 at 19:19  

Dato

I am very2 concerned on the way the economy is being planned.If you look at ETP Chapter 2..on the wage structure its even more frightening..

2.3 mil projected to earn below RM 1K..and 7 mil below RM 2k in 2020..Thats on nominal i.e 2020 cash.If inflation is 6%..RM 2k is only worth RM 1k in 2009 money.

And I saw a projected (maybe) petrol will cost RM 9.50/litre poster at MRT launching.

But pull out all the billions of subsidy..I think inflation will exceed 3.4%.

I hv been following ur blog and I guess ur more aware than most of potential pitfalls going fwd.

Hope we can hv a teh tarik n exchange ideas soon?

sakmongkol AK47 8 October 2011 at 19:25  

anon at 19:19

sure, pls e mail me.

Anonymous,  8 October 2011 at 21:15  

Najib can do it because he is 'Bapak Transformer'.

Anonymous,  8 October 2011 at 21:49  

rulingAnd also from Chapter 2 of ETP :

About 71% (11.6 million) is projected to earn less than RM4,000/mth. The disparity in income (Gini co-eff)will widen by 2020. The future problem will therefore be class struggle. And since the disparity of income is the highest among the Malays, it will pit the ordinary Malays (95%)against the (5%)elite/well connected/corrupted/rich ruling Malays and not the Malays against the Chinese/Indians.

Just wait and see.

bruno,  8 October 2011 at 22:05  

Dato,it is good if the PM can give a good budget,which is beneficial to the majority of the people.But to forcast the GDP at 5-6% is being too optimistic.Malaysia will be very lucky if it can get a GDP of 2-3%.

Remember the Asian financial crisis.It hit Malaysia and Asia very badly,and lasted for years.The rest of the world were affected,but only mildly.This time around,the PIGGS nation financial crisis is just getting into steam.It is a major structural problem,and the intervention of the EU,ECB and the world bank by pumping container loads of Euros is not going to help.

All these,together with the Japanese and Chinese buying of European depts are just going to delay the effects,but eventually they will have to feel the pain.Market forces are many times more powerful than financial intervention.So eventually some of these nations will have to go bankrupt.And the structural problems are not limited to these PIGGS nations only.

There are more countries to follow.The PIGGS nations are the ones who cannot hide their depts anymore,and are in debt default.That is why it came out in the open.Eventually this European financial crisis is going to get so out of control,that the authorities will just throw thier hands up in surrender.

With the US still in a mess due to the housing subprime crisis,with the EFC in tow the world will go into a deep recession,next year or so.As far as anyone can see there is nothing the world's top financial bankers can do anything about it.And with the Chinese economy losing steam,much worse is expected.

This financial crisis is sure going to hit the world very hard.There is no way Asia can escape from this crisis.Malaysia will be very lucky if it did not get a GDP in the red,and a bigger budget deficit.So in the end what use is a good budget,if there are no additional money to fund it with.

George Choo,  8 October 2011 at 22:05  

Sak,you are right that this is an election budget.
Najib knows that UMNO days are numbered. In order to win,give money to the rakyat.
I totally agree with you when you said that the finances of the house is depleting.That is why I always maintained that the govt of Malaysia is BANKRUPT.
Honestly, I agree with Najib to spend money on the rakyat because if this money is not give to the Rakyat,the MONEY WILL BE "RASUAH"
by UMNO.
Any which way,the govt will be Bankrupt so it better to give the money to the Rakyat than be RASUAH by a CANCER PARTY called UMNO.

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 00:34  

So you see Idris Jala, you are dead wrong! The country is NOT going bankrupt in 2019. It will be in 2013.

OneMalaysian,  9 October 2011 at 00:39  

Dear Sakmongkol

I can say that I usually have no trouble agreeing with the main themes of what you write, even though I might not agree with every sentence or sub-theme. But on this budget posting of yours, I can say I agree with every word you wrote.

After reading (and first having heard it on radio) it, I can easily conclude that this is nothing more than an election budget, designed solely to win the 1.3 million votes of civil servants and ex-policemen. The little bribery attempt in the Sibu by-election is nothing compared to this wholesale attempt at vote buying.

A responsible government should not incur a 4.7% budget deficit to just throw morsels of cash to certain segments of the public. This money is not covered by revenue. It has to be borrowed or printed. Because this extra money that is dished out does not come from an increase in productivity it would merely add to inflation, the monetary illness that is causing an incessant increase in prices of everything, especially food, that has made everyone less well off and more miserable.

This extra cash only solves part of the people’s problem for a little while. It does not permanently increase their real earning capacity. It is like giving panadol to people suffering from cancer. They will feel better for a very short while. Najib knows this. But his aim is to win the imminent elections by whatever means including using money the government does not have to spread money around as if from a helicopter.

There is nothing else in the budget worth talking about. What a great disappointment! We are going down the road that Greece had travelled, though it is farther ahead. Remember, in Greece civil servants are being sacked in big numbers and for the remainder, they all have to take a pay cut. So let civil servants not rejoice too much. What Najib is giving is no real gift.

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 03:00  

Is the MRT capex in this years budget?In last year's budget it was announced as a private sector investment.However,soon after that it was announced that Prasarana/MRT Co will be the asset owner.Is it then necessary for the MRT Capex to be in this year's budget?

Hope you can help to clarify.
Thanks

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 04:56  

Salam Dato,

Pada aku apa pun hujah dan justifikasi serta teri ekonomi ,itu aku tidak peduli. Yang aku peduli gaji meningkat, bonus ada tapi barang dan perkhidmatan murah. kalau boleh cukai perkhidmatan 6 % tidak meliputi semua perkara. Ini aku tak faham cukai perkhidmatan dan kos perjalanan terlampau itu peguam kenakan hanya untuka lepaskan gadaian. tak ke ini ambil kesemaptan keatas pengguna. kalau urus sendiri tak ada apa kos begitu. Borang std, kos hantar tak sampai RM5.00 tapi bapak peguam caj RM50.00, apa ke bende, macam bandar kuantan. tak itu mana scr nya, tak faham aku.

Melayu Baru,  9 October 2011 at 10:43  

Assalamualaikum Dato' Sak,

We are spending the money we dont have. In this budget of 230 B, we dont have almost 20% of that money in the tune of 44B.

I will use a simplified household budget to demonstrate. Imagine you need to spend RM 3,000 monthly on expenditures. Now, your actual salary is only RM 2,400. You are spending RM 600 that you do not have.

This money is has to some from somewhere. So, government borrows them - in the form of bonds, govt security or other paper means. These papers are IOUs. Banks, investment houses and foreign govt buy it - in return for a fixed return. Also, raising money this way will contribute to inflation. This also assumes that the government can pay it back.

Now, let's look at the assumptions from where we are going to get the money from. The 80% (186 B) is highest in the history of Malaysian budget - meaning we never get that kind of revenue before. It grew 15% compared to 2010. Imagine it is as if assuming that you get 15% increase in your salary in 2011. Again, based on the household budget, you expect that your salary of about RM 2,100 to increase to RM 2,400 and you actually spend RM 3,000 per month.

From the 186 B, 70% comes from tax, with rosy increase in almost every tax stream. Also, ahem, remember the Petroleum stuff? It assumes that the price in 2012 will be high as well (for comparison, 2010 avg price is USD 84/bbl, this year about USD 100 per barrel). The growth in petroleum income is almost 40%.

Let's look at the other backdrop of 2012.It assumes 5-6% of growth for 2012. It also assumes that next year the world economic growth rate will be around 4%.

Let's also look at other factors. Federal government debt will increase to 54% of GDP. Household debt is at 76% of GDP. About 50% of malaysian household salary goes into debt repayment - cars, house & credit cards. If you consider amount of debt to disposable income, Malaysians is among world's worst at 140%. That means that most Malaysians are living way beyond their means and are using other people's money to finance their lifestyle.

Melayu Baru

Melayu Baru,  9 October 2011 at 10:43  

2/2

Let's go back to the real world.

Next year, there's danger of US economy contracting & eurozone internal crisis to a point of collapse. There's also property bubble frothing. We are starting to see some slowdown on commodity run. What does this means?

The financial system of the west has summarily collapsed - but artificially kept alive with debt. Japan entered long periods of stagflation with the same measures in the 90s. All the rest means that financing cost will increase.

So, what is the effect to us?

Firstly, screw the budget. There will be even less income as revenue slows due to world economic conditions. Then, the government will need to borrow more money (more IOUs) to finance its plan. Debt to GDP ratio will increase. The cost of financing means that the repayment will be more expensive. Inflation will increase.

Malaysian that use debt to finance their lifestyle will find themselves unable to service the debt. Local property bubble will be burst. NPL will increase. Banks will tighten their finances even more. Exports, which depended on credit to function will collapse. Inflation will shoot through the roof. Everyone will suffer - whether or not you vote for BN.

This budget is built on a pie in the sky. It will make people feel good (re anon 04:56), forget the reality and continue living in la la land.

The big reality will bite everyone's ass big time next year - preferably after the 13th GE. Govt will blame it on the world economy, and we live to suffer.

Back to the household budget, you didnt get the 15% increment you expect, you need to borrow more money to get to your RM 3,000 expenditure, and will use more of your income next year to pay the debts. The economy will get worse, and next year there will be bigger gap, and more loans. If it gets to a point that a household cant cope, declare bankruptcy.

It happened with Russia, Mexico & Argentina. It will happen with PIGS. We have all the ingredients.

How could this budget, and others before it, be transformative? For years it has resulted in where the people becoming more unproductive, the government incapable and the country uncompetitive. Close to irresponsible, more likely.

Melayu Baru

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 11:02  

Anon 3:00
MRT capex is not in the budget. The funds for MRT will probably be raised through Govt guaranteed bonds. Najib mentioned a RM 100 bilion "special fund" or something like that. Thats where the budget for the MRT is going to come from.

As Dato rightfully mentioned, every budget since Anwar Ibrahim has been praised as the greatest, the best and so on.

I found Dato's argument of excess liquidity due to the Govt deficit causing inflation to be interesting. Everyone knows that BNM's CPI measure says one thing and the price on the street says another. Perhaps thats why the Ringgit has been trading southwards of late and BNM has been forced to intervene to halt the Ringgit's slide. If you look at it, folk are really being stupid if they cheer the handouts given by Najib. It comes at the cost of a future lower purchasing power, increased indebtedness and the possibility for future tax hikes.

Another thing people may not realize is that the RM 232 billion budget is just an opening gambit. Govts will often propose a supplementary budget midstream so the total spending is more like RM 240 billion.

Of course all of this comes at the cost of a higher public debt which will either cause increased inflation, higher taxes and a lower currency value. After all Sing dollar exchange rate with USD is around 1.3 wherelese ours is higher than 3.1

yb,  9 October 2011 at 13:39  

Here, MT ignored my simplistic and irrelevant or even stupit observation on the current topic, so, here it is for your own consumption.

This writer should have watched the tv. The TV programme slotted the budget at 3.05 pm as usual, but the PM came a good one hour late. That is really cool.

This writer should have watched the tv. He missed out on the disgusting facial mimics of the PM who seemingly enjoyed the long and deliberate taunting and insinuation against the opposition especially during the MP's allowance announcement. The PM was childish when he should have been professional.

Budget announcement never excite me and I buy the paper to get the details. I watched the live telecast to catch a sleeping MP, thanks to Ibrahim Ali.

High cost is affecting me and I don't know how or when the budget is going to lessen my burden. My favourite Cola was always at the price of RM1.99 in my economy shop outlet but after the budget announcement it shot up to RM2.29. Thanks to the budget untuk rakyat.

You know, every election time they keep upgrading with new "tar" roads to cover the pot holes! Those cheapskates, and every time I have to crawl in the jam when they close the roads to upgrade for election. Actually this is not for the rakyat, but it is for the MP's when they come to campaign.

So, when are they going to decrease the RON 97 price? It is low in the world market now and they did promised to adjust according to the price fluctuations didn't they?

Cakap tak serupa bikin one, every time.

Ghaf 9 October 2011 at 13:58  

What matter is : " If Somebody Gives Me His Hand, I Will Not Look at Him with Suspicion ".
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa


Come on Dt ! let it be level . Najib's gambling the Nation on the roulette table ? a little sluggish as the emblem summons .

Fixing the budget as an underdog budget actually amplifies that the budget is a responsive , manageable and answerable one , though it is not ' solemn' budget philosophically .

What counts is whether or no this budget is administratively manageable and be monitored by prompt leadership . For the no income and low income earners , the budget allocation would be a breather due to the compulsive rising cost .

Across the economic spectrum , the budget stipulated with deep consideration addressing the economic well being of the people . Nevertheless , it does not widdershins our domestic economy . Hope the mathematic works mathematically to take its course .

The upmost concerned form the budget is its immediate benefit to accommodate the inflation and thus gear for the betterment economically , short and long terms .

sakmongkol AK47 9 October 2011 at 19:11  

ghaf,

tq for yr comments. i hope you have heard of the expression 'inverted snobbery'. for i hope you will also have the magnanimity to uphold the same 'ruling' when people like guan eng, nik aziz, uztaz azizan, khlaid ibrahim or even anwar ibrahim give handouts to the rakyat. dont look at them with suspicions.

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 19:23  

santa claus in town.

dont know how long santa claus will last before we go the way of greece. our deficit now at >50% of GDP. Greece went into tailspin at 67%. at 5% deficit annually, its another 3 years to go unless the economy grows faster than the current tepid rate.

gosh, i fear for my kids.

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 19:28  

guys here.

Najib is all about 3 letters acronyms. ETP, PTP, KPP, PPP, KKK.

Productivity? Inflationary? Bloated? Mouthful and too lengthy to understand.

Jala, I thought you said the country is going bankrupt if we dont stop the subsidy? Can BN, for once walk the talk?

Tinta Hitam 9 October 2011 at 21:28  

Datuk,
Bajet ini ditujukan pd masyarakt Kampung,felda dan golongan berpendapatan rendah.Mereka inilah penyokong besar UMNO..Golongan ini tidak akan faham segala pandangan kritikal spt tulisan Datuk ini.Bagi mereka "short term gain" merupakan laba seumur hidup.Manakala UMNO pulak yg penting mereka berkuasa sepenggal lagi.Walaupun harga yg perlu dibayar adalah kehancuran negara..

Anonymous,  9 October 2011 at 22:00  

Why worry about tomorrow when at stake is survival today. Get it!

Just prepare the future generations as cheap export labour just like what the Indonesians, Filipinas, Myanmars, Bangladeshis currently are to Malaysians.

Those who got the most children will have the most future slaves to be exported.

Mustapha Ong,  10 October 2011 at 07:04  

Salam Dato' Sak AK47,

I had posted on the same subject linked to Malaysian Insider today, but not sure whether my comments will be published.

Anyway, you have given an insight of the consequences of Baget 2012 presented by PM Najib Razak in parliament last Friday.I agreed to all that you have posted and we should see a clearer signal for Najib to call for the PRU13 when he returns from Umrah/Haji in mid November 2011.

I also believe that despite "the feel good factor, Najib will not rush into calling the 13th general election. I don't think Najib will take Tun Mahathir's comments seriously as delayed general election has always in Najib's mind.

Najib has created a suitable environment that will spur Malaysians to spend more and contribute to the growing economy, as a new middle higher income group is being created through the various political, economic, financial and social transformation programs over the last 2 years of BN governance under his charge as the incumbent prime minister.

The opposition pact is just full of empty talks to wood-wink the people in believing that PR is ready to overthrow the BN government under Najib Tun Razak's tenure as the most controversial prime minister.

I believe not even the long awaited judiciary judgment on Anwar's ongoing Sodomy II case will have any consequence for Najib to call for the general election. Whether Anwar loses his case and sent to jail has no consequences to Najib and the BN government.

My humble take is the PRU13 will be called in the first quarter of next year and a higher majority will be voted in to endorse Najib's leadership to lead the BN government. Let's wait for more signals after Najib's return from his holy trip to Mecca and also during the coming UMNO Assembly in late November/December 2011.

nick 10 October 2011 at 07:56  

Najib is transformative in body and soul? And because he cares for Malaysia and it's citizen that he has decided to table a people "loving" budget? Yeah right!

That's like saying Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope would "surely and without doubt" generate trillions of profit once they become Synergy Drive! That's like saying the govt would bring to book all those govt servant who were involved directly and indirectly in squandering RM28 billions of our money annually. It's like saying that the govt being the interested party and powerful majority shareholder in toll concessionaires, would reduce toll rate and forgo the "compulsory" compensation package over toll hikes and make transportation affordable for all Malaysian. FAT CHANCE!

Those who still believe anything that is said and promised by UMNO's president and BN "king" should have their head examined. With numerous flip-flopping and false promises, Najib is the least trustworthy man in Malaysia and the fact that he is now in "control" of the country's resources and finances should really make us cower in fear and trepidation and NOT "hopeful and happy"!

Nick.

Fairplay76,  10 October 2011 at 09:37  

First, the body language and tone of voice doesn't bode well for all of us. The figures are too self-gratuitous when it was delivered and now too self-congratulatory as a response from sycophantic coalition partners. Tinta Hitam puts it concisely - the budget is essentially directed, with all due respect, at Felda inhabitants and low-income groups.

Irrespective of the outcome of the results of the next PRU, if and when it is called, my humble suggestion, based on the events which took place on the night when the results were announced in the previous General Election in 2008 and much later the infamous 'cow head' incident, is:
On the night of the next PRU both BN & Pakatan should gather at least 10 party members each to 'co-secure' vital buildings by standing outside the perimeter fence of the respective State Secretariat, Federal Secretariat in Putrajaya, the main State mosques, temples and churches, and lastly the various State and Federal Hasil/Inland Revenue buildings. A reasonable number of police personnel could also accompany these 'Truth,Integrity and Peace' vigilantes. The reason is to demonstrate unequivocally to the whole world that a truly transparent and unfettered General Election process in 1Malaysia can go beyond the mere formal declaration of results by ensuring that should any incumbent ruling party loses, it MUST leave with 'clean hands'! There should be no messing around with documents and files in public offices as had happened in 2008, and certainly not with tax and revenue matters.

Let's fight cleanly, with or without pious platitudes.

Fairplay76,  10 October 2011 at 10:34  

erratum:

"...as a rsponse from sycophantic ..."

read " as response to sycophantic

Navi 10 October 2011 at 11:03  

Dato'

Thanks to Najib for the pocket money; could help me spend a wee bit more end of year. But no thanks for cleaning up the kitty.

Anyway where did they pluck the figure of 5.5% for GDP growth. I read it is only 4.2% for 2011.

Kamal Sanusi 10 October 2011 at 11:18  

Salam Dato'

Budget 2012 was presented by Santa Claus which would read it is a Santa Claus Budget which only benefit those group of people towards ensuring their vote to BN.

Most people still have a sense of respect on teachers especially in rural area. If the teachers are against KERAjaan, others might follow. So, give x'mas present to them.

Some retirees residing in rural areas too have great influence on others. So, give them one-off payment. Other months, find their own.

FELDA settlers are KERAjaan's fixed deposit. So, give them something to curb the rising of new Felda generations with better critical thinking.

If not because of Mat Sabu, those unsung heroes will get nothing. I guess it need to take Mat Sabu again to say something on private sector too.

I'm pretty sure the budget will be blocked somehow, somewhere and channeled to Rosmah's activities namely Permata which was not being announced any budget allocated.

At the end of the day, Malaysian will be fooled and fooled again as usual.

Jong 10 October 2011 at 15:48  

Psalm 109:8 : "Let his days be few and brief and let others step forward to replace him."

Let's pray for Najib.
Let him syiok sendiri while he can.

Why wait, go on call for GE-13!

Anonymous,  10 October 2011 at 21:28  

Grow up, Dato!

You know how broken UMNO and BN are. Why would the PM care about spending money that does not belong to him? In fat, the more he spends, the more he stands to pocket ... RM1 for the rakyat, RM2 for me and my cronies.

And once UMNO and BN win the next GE, just introduce GST and other taxes, discontinue subsidies ... do what is necessary to take back what was given to the rakyat 6 months ago.

DOn't tell me you do not know the PM's gameplan!

Anonymous,  11 October 2011 at 06:54  

The problem is, we have to wait for another several months before we can cast our votes.....

OneMalaysian,  11 October 2011 at 11:40  

Dear Sakmongkol

When Najib announced the NEM I was excited. I read carefully the first draft with hope in my heart. Here at last, I thought, is a real plan to do what must be done for Malaysia. The NEM draft contained all the necessary ingredients to transform our middle-income country into a high-income one. The PM only needed courage – only courage – and we will get there.

Then when Ibrahim Ali roared, and the DPM and other obstructionists have had their say, the final version of the NEM was so watered down that it was not worth the paper it was printed on. I am quite sure that we will continue to wallow in this middle-income quagmire. Najib has stopped talking about the NEM.

When we now look at this Budget, we can be doubly sure that the high-income dream has died. Instead of spending money on building physical, social, educational and manpower capacity, Najib is throwing out free money from a helicopter, fishing for votes. This money will do nothing because inflation will simply wipe out the extra cash in the pocket.

The government proposes to spend RM33 billion on various subsidies – rice, fuel, etc – and seems proud that it can and will “help” the people. These endless subsidies will simply keep us poor and utterly dependent on the government to continue to feed us. For this the government will continue to borrow, increasing the national debt in the process. This is not a sustainable way forward. How much better if the government helps all of us to increase our incomes through better paying jobs that we can do because we have higher skills learned at better universities; and the better paying jobs arise because companies (foreign and local) invest more and more because we have a more attractive investment environment compared to our neighbours. They invest because our labour force is productive even with the higher wages. They invest because it is easy to do business here, and public servants are honest, efficient and businesss-friendly. And there are no cumbersome equity rules. And the entire economy is run on a merit-based system. Am I describing Nirvana? No, this is what the NEM promised!

The BN government cannot deliver the higher income economy. Not with its current policies, and certainly not with this current crop of leaders. We need change if we want a better future.

hiley 11 October 2011 at 13:34  

Agree with Anon 19:19
See the ETP Salary Projection in Year 2020 at
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/829/etpsalary2020.jpg/

Pemandu is also proposing to withdraw subsidies to people. Note: SUBSIDIES TO PEOPLE, not subsidies to Big Business.

In Malaysia, Subsidies to Big Business currently amounts to a whopping RM80 billion!

Anyway, if petrol is going to cost RM9.50 as Idris Jala said, what's going to be prices of essential goods and services?

Is he not concerned about the fate of the 10.6 million workers who'll be receiving pay cheques of mere RM4,000 or less per month in 2020 !?

What's the matter with him? How could he be so heartless?

Anonymous,  11 October 2011 at 20:41  

You are right about the hype surrounding a budget presentation. We the poor taxpayers should be crying, in fact brawl because we are buggered again. It's not the BN who will be footing the bill but us taxpayers.

Zaidi,  11 October 2011 at 22:13  

Salam Dato' Sak

Time and again I have called upon AMANAH to take the centre role of dissecting the current issues. Let AMANAH hold a conference on dissecting the budget and I believe there are enough opinion to go around. Surely we can get Jomo KS and your good self to talk on this. If not please apologize to the younger generation for building this false hope of AMNANAH

el especial,  12 October 2011 at 00:10  

Nirvana

Among others, the merriam-webster dictionary describes it as “a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable”.

The legend remarked, stay young, stay hungry. Yet, few are of the idealistic lot nowadays. Let alone one who stick to his/her ideals.

They say good man die young and if this is true, then the world would be a place deprived of good leaders. Am I a bit far fetch? If there are any good men left, they would be few. And they would be the reluctant leader.

When he passed away, the corporation had just over taken an oil giant to become the biggest market cap company in the world. Compared to the Treasury, it has more cash.

While at it, the US as we know it is in its last throes. Europe is burning. Japan has lost it. China and India has a lot of potential yet with the booming population worldwide, its hard again not to see a chaotic ending.

Given this path, I can only see chaos as the norm. Chaos as a buildup to the state of equilibrium through destruction.

As I think it all again, maybe such leader will only step forward when there is so much chaos and destruction?

mookris,  14 October 2011 at 20:38  

Most refreshing piece of writing the past week.

You clearly explained why we can't afford such a budget. Too many misplaced priorities. Inflation will rear its ugly head - sooner than later. And nature is not helping either. We can expect prolonged droughts after the rain.Unpredictable weather spells disaster for crops.

I'm not betting the family farm on the outcome of PRU13 but I can safely say we won't go the way of Greece. Not by a long-shot.

There are still many good people in UMNO and the party can still be reformed.

Having said that, my vote for GE13 is still going to PR.

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