Friday, October 23, 2009

Budget 2010: A Turnaround Budget?

PM Najib Razak is taking a positive step to reduce the budget deficit to 7.4 per cent this year and 5.6 per cent in 2010. Yet, it is still not clear how the government intends to fund the deficit. Government's revenue has dropped by more than 8 percent to less than RM150 billion.

He has made initiatives to reduce operating expenditures by more than 13 percent. Attention is given to other economic sectors such as tourism, green technology, Islamic finance and others. Foreign participation is fully liberalised for a few areas in the financial sector.

One interesting note is a special low income tax of 15 percent being imposed strictly for the Iskandar economic development region but not for the rest of the country. I wonder how does the government going to monitor those who might just want to take advantage of the special tax relief by registering their work address in the region and provide their services elsewhere.

Moreover, the newly minted corridor depends skilled labour who might not work in the region to help in its development. These workers would have contributed to its growth but do not enjoy a special tax relief.

Like other budget speeches, we were not told how the government intends to set up a mechanism to ensure that the budget objectives are achieved. A good example is the Auditor General's report on the annual public expenditure which is mired with abuses, corruption, recklessness and wastage.

What is Najib going to do to ensure that there is a better financial management in the government agencies and departments?

It is interesting to note that the government intends to double the income per capita by the year 2020. Hopefully this is achieved not through a further devaluation of the ringgit.

A higher income must come with a higher skilled labour force. A skilled labour force can only be moulded through a good education system. What is Najib's strategy to enhance the quality of Malaysian education system?

Likewise, the government is also silent on how it intends to combat corruption. The way the government handles the PKFZ case should become a good benchmark. If the investigation drags on forever, the integrity of this government to enact serious reforms is going to flush down the toilet bowl.

MCA President Ong Tee Keat promised to make PKFZ the model of accountability for all publicly funded projects. I hope he does not disappoint us and will continue to investigate the scandal without fear or favour. The failure to do so will tarnish not only the BN but also the goodwill of Ong.

We know how the money is going to be spent. What we need to know is whether the money spent will create a maximum value for the country.

I would like to engage readers on the budget 2010 and on ways to help improve the country. Let me hear your thoughts.
Picture courtesy of


Anonymous said...

Ha, our gomen can't even arrange for a proper RM2 funeral let alone to turnaround the big fat budget deficit.
Just look at the Audit General report. Year-in year-out we see the same shit BUT what has the stupid gomen done to stop all these bleeding or did they catch any fat leeches?

None, zilch and that is transparency and justice for you in Malaysia run by BN gomen.
God save Malaysia. . .

Anonymous said...

You are still putting hopes in this government..

well i don't.. and i've stop paying taxes

Anonymous said...

Hopeless la brother!!! nothing will improve but awaiting disaster.
With all the shortsighted in planning and lip service agenda as typical of BN/UMNO, tell Najib don't bullshit!!!
Najib cannot be trusted!!!

Anonymous said...

anon 12.37am

i wish i can stop paying my taxes to the federal govt. as an employee, its ato deducted from my pay.

my wish? i pay my taxes directly to the State Govt under Tan Sri Khalid. At least, I know he will put it to good and proper use and not for buying a laptop for RM42,000. and he wont employ a anti-corruption chief who oversee an agency that kills a youngman and try to portray he committed suicide because he has not enough money in his account. Guess, it pays to be corrupted so that you wont commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

Syed Akbar Ali (a Malaysian author with several books to his name) weighed in on the 2010 budget in his blog. What he said therein merits the attention of caring, thoughtful Malaysians.

His blog URL is:


Anonymous said...

Hey, no Malay bashing? That's very unchinese of you

The Bottom Line said...

How do you think that Malaysia can double its income per capita by 2020? Previously we have been strong in first agriculture, and then manufacturing. However with other countries now able to offer lower costs for these industries how do you think Malaysia can maintain its competitive advantage and thus achieve the above stated target?

Anonymous said...

A budget is effective only if the financial management is just as efficient.

Good Implementation, enforcement, control, analysis, supervision, must be paralleled with right moral, right politics and right laws.

Can we find this happening in the country?

PKFTZ, TBH , CowHeads, ISA, etc., etc., etc.

If the country's morals are not balanced can we balance our budget or budgets to come?

If the top roof beam is not balanced, can the lower beams be balanced as well?