BN’s 5Ds Policy: Divisive, Discriminatory, Deceit, Debt and Deficits

by Lim Guan Eng

The 2014 Budget is disappointing not only at the national level but also at the state level. The Budget offered nothing to Penang being a PR-ruled state, especially by failing to fulfil Barisan Nasional’s promise made in 2007 of building a Mass Rail Transit (MRT). The 2014 Budget is also discriminatory in providing only funding for groups that supported BN in the last general elections, even MCA leaders had questioned why there was no funding for government-aided secondary schools (Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan).

By continuing to divide the people into different groups and discriminating against them (by denying funding given to others) proves that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s assurances at the Gerakan General Assembly on 26 Oct that BN would uphold the principles of being moderate, progressive, centrist, inclusive and fair is just an empty rhetoric that deceives no one. In other words 2014 Budget is not about 1Malaysia or national reconciliation but instead continues BN’s 5D policy of being Divisive, Discriminatory, Deceit, Debt and Deficits.

The government is being deceitful in saying that the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 6% which replaces the Sales Tax and the Service Tax (SST) will be reduce the tax currently paid by consumers. GST of 6% works out to a cost of roughly RM850 per Malaysian each year whereas Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia(BR1M) is RM650 yearly.

How can an extra cost for each Malaysian of RM 850 yearly help Malaysians from the lower income group who only receives RM650 per family per year? On average, a family of 10 would get RM 650 but has to pay RM 8,500 from the 6% GST.

The increase in the Federal government debt to nearly 55% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at RM541 billion by end of this year from RM502 billion last year shows that the Federal government is neither serious about reining in expenditure nor in fighting corruption. Promises of managing spending prudently is meaningless when no action or punishment is meted out against those responsible for the excesses, wastage and financial wrongdoings amounting to RM6.5 billion that were highlighted in the 2012 Auditor-General Report with a negative impact on the economy.

What is most disappointing is that there are no new initiatives to fight corruption especially following Washington Post’s article on Malaysia being “the world champion of corruption”.  Has the Prime Minister given up on fighting corruption?

BN is not serious about slashing our Budget deficit, which caused a downgrade of the credit outlook by Fitch Ratings from stable to negative. The Economic Report 2013/14 gave the good news that the expected revenue collection for the current year 2013 is RM14.4 billion higher than the original budget projection.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua estimated the RM14.4 billion increase in revenue should have resulted in a lowering of the projected budget deficit of 4% to 2.6% of GDP.  The budget deficit for 2013 should have shrunk from RM39.9 billion to only RM 25.6 billion or 2.6%, but yet remains stubbornly at RM37 billion or 3.5% of GDP. Clearly, the government is not serious about reducing the budget deficit when it wastes extra money received on white elephant projects like the RM 5 billion 100 storey Menara Warisan.

What is the savings of RM 400 million from abolishing the 34 cents sugar subsidy as compared to the RM 5billion spent on building Menara Warisan? For the Prime Minister to try to distract attention by justifying the increase in sugar prices to reduce diabetes and even improve sexual libido of men is completely inappropriate and irresponsible.

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