Buying love on a Budget — Gomen Man
SEPT 29 — Is this it? This is not a Budget, what was announced yesterday by Finance Minister Najib Razak was vote-buying through the liberal use of taxpayers’ funds.
Yesterday was making Malaysians more addicted to handouts, the opiate of the masses.
Idris Jala, aka the salesman, can talk all he wants about GST and Malaysia’s readiness to wean itself of subsidies and Najib can go on about cutting the budget deficit but this government did this country a great disservice yesterday: it mortgaged the future for short-term gain.
And it also did the virtually impossible: it cut taxes, gave out more money and said that it would still cut the deficit. Najib should bottle this miraculous potion and sell it to the US.
The finance minister unashamedly said later that Malaysian should vote BN for more of WHAT WE HAVE TODAY! No talk about high-income economy; reducing dependency on foreign workers, etc.
This is WHAT WE HAVE TODAY:
1) A completely corrupt political and civil service elite. The only difference in these two groups is that it appears only the civil servants are being charged in court. Ministers wantonly flaunt their wealth, their wealth accumulation usually the result of kickbacks from privatisation awards to their cronies.
2) A country divided. The mainstream Malay media and Umno have positioned the Chinese as ungrateful. Under the veneer of unity, this is a country fractured and in dire need of rehabilitation and reconciliation.
3) The country’s debt is rising and is at an all-time high. And it is not 53 per cent of the GDP as announced in the Budget but 67 per cent. This includes government guarantees. The red flag should be raised when debt ratio to GDP is 55 per cent. It is now 67 per cent and you can bet that a government which does not know anything apart from spending will make our grandchildren pay dearly.
4) Rent-seeking has always been a feature of privatisation in Malaysia. Now the leaders of this country offer us liars and award contracts to companies which have no track record for billion ringgit deals. The inflated cost will be borne by you and me and our children.
Yesterday’s Budget was very much in keeping with a BN government which has tried to paper over cracks and gaps in this country by money.
It is like a parent who, devoid of any ideas of proper parenting, has decided to buy the affection of his children.
* Gomen Man reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.