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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday 3 November 2013

Reflections on Budget 2014

Each year we lose around RM20billion through all sorts of leakages in our economy. When the government cannot explain incompetence, negligence, corruption, falsification of prices, they use the term leakages. This is reported year in and year out by the Auditor General.  The danger here is that these wrongdoings continue to be unceasing. Our unconcern indicates that we have not developed a culture of detesting any form of wrongdoing. Its especially made more difficult to fight against it, if the public spirited voice belongs to a non-Malay Malaysian. His/her crusade against the wrongdoer usually the government, is seen as cause carried out by a non-Malay against a Malay dominated government. This is most unfortunate- the issue here is the wrongdoing, not the wrongdoer.
We could save another RM20bn too if not for our nefarious system of selected tenders and direct negotiations. Selected tender means what it is- a tender among the select few. The select few are companies belonging to the same people. As to why choose direct negotiations, the government respond by saying it saves time. Meaning- they cannot afford to waste any time in getting their hands on the money.
Imagine if we now place more money in the hands of this government what is likely to happen? It will be another windfall for the thieves in the government to hive off bigger chunks from the economy. The government tightens the selection and shut out busybodies.
The issue of corruption is hardly touched in the budget although it constitutes the biggest drain on our economy. Instead the government wants to introduce a more efficient method of fleecing the people. More money is needed to sustain a business model of the 20%, by the 20%, for the 20%.
During his budget speech, the PM declared he will fight to the end to keep Putrajaya. Such ferocity is laudable but also laughable as it is nothing more than an exhibition of brinkmanship. Talk is cheap. He and UMNO are entitled to fight to the end to keep Putrajaya.  BN’s tenure in Putrajaya is on the basis of a temporary Occupation License (TOL). It’s not on the basis of a permanent title. Every 5 years or so, the party forming the government places its fate in the hands of voters. Just as he vowed to do what he has said, the opposition will do everything possible to legally and constitutionally evict BN from Putrajaya.
What does UMNO stand for anyhow? It can’t continue to stand on a corrosive foundation of falsehoods. Those falsehoods have taken the form of intimidation, racist policies, unfair treatment of East Malaysians, pitting communities against one another. Topping it all up is the pervasive corruption that has become a culture in UMNO and infected all sinews of the administration. These are not elements of an enduring foundation- but then UMNO leaders know this. The rot is irreversible and the end is inevitable. Since they can’t reverse it, they must take advantage of their power to the fullest.
So Najib must talk the tough talk. All the tough talk about fighting for the rights of Malays and so on and so forth are all bullshit. Isn’t that what UMNO has been fighting for all these years since it became the government? It is nothing new but UMNO must make thunderous statements about this emotive cause to appease the discontent that is building up in the Malay community. The bottom 40% still share 14% of the income and has remained as the Sad Class, deprived of income enhancing resources. The income enhancing resources have always gone to the top 20%. It has remained that way ever since UMNO came into power.
Especially so after Mahathir took over and the same idea is being pushed through by Najib.  UMNO fights to keep power so that with power it can go on pillaging the country while deceiving the Malays especially that its fighting for them.
This is my first year in parliament and watching at close quarters seeing how the BN elected representatives defend what essentially is a business plan to fleece the public. The handful who understands what GST is all about are parroting what the accountants are saying that GST is a more effective way to scrap the bottom of the barrel so that nothing is left. The idea of GST is to ensure society pays taxes. The tax evaders will continue to do what they have been doing all this time- evade taxes. Receipts can be falsified, the efficacy of the collection system at the end of the day will depend on the integrity of whole people supporting the system. If corruption has become a culture, tax dodgers will always find ways to outwit the system. The ultimate hapless victims are always the rakyat.
The people will see how capricious and rapacious the government is by introducing GST in 2015. The purpose of the GST is to make sure everyone pays taxes and to collect more money. Every one of us should be scared now. More money in the hands of a greedy and corrupt government is a sure recipe for a bleak future. Our lot will be one of endless miseries.
During a debate session, a minister rose to say that it is not right for opposition members to say whatever we spend is the rakyat’s money. Once the budget is approved, the money becomes the property of the government. He likens the appropriated money like the money collected by the Muslim Institutions that collects zakat and then appoints the money as they wish.
He is wrong. It is the rakyat’s money. We have legally empowered the government to collect taxes and other dues. The money is placed in a consolidated fund. In order to finance its business, the government of the day comes before parliament and asks for a specific sum of money to be appropriated from the consolidated fund. Once approved, the government distributes the money to the various ministries. The ministries in turn use the money for the purposes they have put up. Its money entrusted with the government to use judiciously and specifically. Our duty as elected representatives is to see that this money is spent so.
That is why we come before parliament to inquire upon the uses of the money. We come before parliament asking how the government has spent and will spend the money. If it’s the government’s own money, then we could not care less even if they spend the money in ruinous ways.
This clearly is a wrong attitude and for such a position being taken by a government leader explains why there are so many wrongdoings as reported by the Auditor General’s Report. Because the government takes it that the money appropriated by parliament as absolutely theirs, they can do as they like. Therefore stealing, skimming, falsifying prices, rent seeking, regulatory capture, manipulating tender awards are all permissible because, it’s their money not the rakyat’s money


bruno 3 November 2013 at 11:07  

Dato,everybody knows that corrupted Umnoputras and their cronies live in mansions,have banking accounts, properties in prime areas and mistresses young enough to be their grand daughters overseas.Yet,we cannot blame them for mismanaging the country's coffers.So who do we blame?The only people we can blame are the voters who voted them into power.

Nasir,  3 November 2013 at 11:17  

ssalamualaikum Dato'
What do you think of professionals from outside the Members of Parliament (MPs) running the ministries and a council of MPs to oversee their performance? This would leave the MPs more time to serve their electorates

OneMalaysian,  3 November 2013 at 11:19  

Dear Sakmongkol

“It’s especially made more difficult to fight against it, if the public spirited voice belongs to a non-Malay Malaysian. His/her crusade against the wrongdoer usually the government, is seen as cause carried out by a non-Malay against a Malay dominated government.”

Reading this article is like eating a buffet with 10 main courses, each one meaty. How do we begin to comment on such a dinner in just a little space?

When we read about the introduction of the GST we realize that the UMNO-led government has essentially given up the fight – if ever there really was one – on corruption, waste and inefficiencies. That is why we have always had deficits and poor quality services – wastes and leakages, which you have put at RM40 billion. If these are eliminated the budget deficit would magically disappear. There would be no need to impose GST, notwithstanding its merit as an efficient tax.

When the government talks about a more efficient tax, it means the new tax will collect more money. Since the rich will now get a reduced tax rate, it simply means that any increase of GST over the current sales and services tax must come from the poor, or at least from all those who currently don’t pay income tax, that is, the 85% of Malaysians.

When Najib proposed the GST he is certainly not ignorant that it will impact negatively on the poor and currently untaxed. But he had no choice if he were to close this gaping and growing budget deficit that international rating agencies say he must narrow. He had 2 choices – raise taxes or cut expenditure and the wastes and leakages. Which is the easier to do? Even though Najib is not very bright, he is by no means stupid. He knows the easier choice to make is to raise taxes. The uneducated masses are easy to fool – they believe all the usual bullshit that the UNMO government dishes out, for after all they only read Utusan and watch TV1, 2 and 3. As for the inconvenient and pesky non-Malays, they are easy to deal by labeling them anti-Malay. Ironically, the GST serves to align the political interest of the Malays and Chinese: the Malays will now realize that their taxes will be wasted and stolen year in, year out.

Anonymous,  3 November 2013 at 17:31  

This is why this useless & corrupted BN Government must be kicked out ASAP before further damage is done to our country.

Anonymous,  3 November 2013 at 18:56  

YB, u know it, I know it and many people know it that the government have to collect more tax. GST in 2015 would turn businesses as tax collector for the government. But we know the business owners in Malaysia would rather not pay taxes, thus with that in mind, there would less money for the government.

Anonymous,  4 November 2013 at 08:43  

it is sad that the voters do not know or do not want to know that it is a sin to support people who steal. They are giving me the message that I must always support, defend and help my brothers even when they steal, cheat, tell lies, do unjust things, break the law or do immoral things etc... and that I must always support them even when they keep on stealing my hard earned money.

Don't they ALL (the people and the institutions)know that it is a test from Allah?

My religion does not teach me to support thieves.

Anonymous,  4 November 2013 at 10:37  

Dear YB

A limerick from me:

This new tax, the GST
What will it mean for you and me?
The regime tells us not to fear
But we smell something
mighty fishy here
Scrap it, and let our inflation-ridden pockets be !

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  4 November 2013 at 10:49  

Dear Bruno 11:07

It was a stolen election (as Professor Bridget Welsh pointed out). So, the voters are largely not to be blamed. In fact, the kleptocratic regime was even forced to admit that it has lost the popular vote.

YB Sak's "SAD class", some of whom sadly voted for the kleptocratic UMNO Baru-BN regime, needs to have their eyes and minds opened by the alternative mass media and progressive intellectuals.

SAD class:

S = struggling financially
A = angst (full of)
D = deceived by regime propaganda

Phua Kai Lit

Sabah Sifu 4 November 2013 at 21:55  

Please enlighten me, I am a bit ignorant about the Malaysian Parliamentary Standing Order. I have never been a MP nor will I ever be.
It is always the Opposition is saying the BN government is bad, and the BN government will say the Opposition is bad.
Money and Finance is a serious matter, but apart from the debate in Parliament which often overflows to the alternative media - nothing much is done to resolve the issues.
The Budget and subsequent Supplementary Bill is still being approved.
Is there no such mechanism in Parliament that can block the Budget as well as the Supplementary Bill from being passed? Even the American House of Congress has such thing and the government can shutdown because the Budget Bill is not approved.
I believe the Malaysia Parliament have such thing as Committees that can be created to examine and analyze the details of the Budget or Supplementary Bills - Why are these not demanded by the Oppositions?
In addition, the BN government does not have the necessary 2/3 to simply pass any Bills, therefore if there are Bills passed then it should be the fault of the Oppositions for not wanting to block it.
What say you Dato?

Anonymous,  5 November 2013 at 02:00  

Najib & the elite co do not relate to us, the ordinary Malaysians. To begin with GST at the rate of 6% will certainly increase the financial burden of the majority of Malaysians, more so the low income earners and the middle income segment from the ABCs of limitation to purchase of goods and higher cost for services to the Z concerns and in between.

With stagnant pay, no maximum employment for these segments and no political will and commitment from the government in creating the congenial, invigorating transparent business atmosphere for the private sector which in turn will then create that maximum employment and better wages for the Rakyat, the government can fire its team of conspirators from its UMNO linked economists, bankers, housing developers, rent seekers to foreign consultants and soon to be foreign lawyers, etc.

Foreseeing the beginning of bigger plots only to enrich themselves and their own more immensely thus navigating the nation to catastrophes in the same direction as the education system. No ?

I have on a few occasions, forewarned the danger of the middle income earners sliding into the brink of poverty in Sak’s blog. My contemporaries who fall to the gimmicks of glossy ads by credit card companies – spending borrowed money ( like the govt’s massive mismanagement ) unfortunately those with student loans will also be stuck in creating generational debts alongside with an aging population which the IDIOTS are awaiting to take advantage of. Unless the thinkers, movers and shakers of accountability and integrity work more intensely, things are extremely dizzy and hazy.

At the rate the influx of Bangladeshis are entering Malaysia with a report in the Sunday Star, Nov 13 that even the more entrepreneurial ones have started their own businesses and employing their own. Then there are too many Indons having started their businesses here and engaging their people. How can they, polaroid citizens aka phantom voters start their own business and employ their own here? Then there is another inflow of foreign professionals who left their home county in search of green pasture in our nation. No wonder the unemployment rate amongst Malaysians, the business insolvency and more people are heavily in debts are snowballing. Check the bankrupcy rate in the papers. And its domino effects inflicting their families and the social impacts caused. As a young society, we are in big serious damages. Semua UMNO and supporters punya pasal !!!

To frame it in another way, Najib and his team lack political will and the expertise on how to stir the country out of the massive cow shit !! Despite the known nations in the red, you can bet their political leaders and their elite family members are still enjoying their lives elsewhere. For that matter, leaders and their immediate families of any nations and conglomerates recalcitrantly deep in corruption and abuse of power.

So back to collectively torpedoing the idiots in the House and outside simultaneously with measureable works done for the voters as well. We don’t need professors or the experts linked to the government like in Animal Farm by George Orwell, to talk down to us what to think, how to think and what to believe and not to believe, bullshitting us with their self - generated statistics, impressive lingo and believable datas that we are incapable of reasoning critically and analytically in the social media daily.

We, each have been bestowed with more than common sense if we do things Right with principle and deep conviction, listen with our eyes and keep learning when we meet up with good people. We just move on working on achieving those hopes and big dreams with fresh determination.

Anonymous,  5 November 2013 at 02:24  

The GST rate at 6 percent can't increase drastically as in the UK and see what happen to their working class citizens ?

And in another tangent, the issues of insurance giants are adding more and nevers clauses, top up, top up more premium, never are they sufficient to cover working class healthcare: war veterans - who gave the best part of their lives in defending America that the present gens can enjoy, and some devils with no respect for human rights and human dignity have the guts to tell these honorable elderly gentlemen and women patriots to pack up ? the retirees' individual healthcare, those who really need the assistance, their food coupons are slashed, the economies are in the red, so how can charities fill that gap ?!! No rocket science required.

Bad leaders, exceptional below the grade governance in eliminating crazy expenditures, poor control of inflation, not resorting to printing more money, blah blah.. belah UMNO leaders !!!

Anonymous,  5 November 2013 at 03:32  

The idea of GST is to ensure society pays taxes. So to those who have been paying taxes all these years and now time to retire and enjoy the fruits of your hard labour; there is the GST waiting to tax you all over again. Is this fair? To those who are working and paying taxes this is a double whammy.
If you want to catch those who are not paying taxes by introducing GST, then don't catch those who are already paying into that net; faham ke?

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