So how do you like the Budget for 2009?
You can read how some of the PR leaders react in this malaysiakini article:
"Anwar: Fundamental flaws remain"
I am sure you will read in the MSM tomorrow how good the budget is and how caring the government is. Someone even managed to get the "feel good" vibes again!
Some concerns about the allocations:
The PM's "development allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department has increased tremendously from RM3.6 billion last year to RM10.22 billion this year." That seems to be a massive increase and indicates a lack of disciplined planning and appears to be more for contingencies.
While the RM1000 bonus for civil servants will help ease their financial burden, the government appears to have no program to reduce the numbers. We have too large a civil service mainly because the government has been absorbing jobless graduates instead of upgrading their skills and the local courses. Meanwhile the private sector has many vacancies that cannot be filled.
This also applies to the minimum pension sum of RM720. With an ever increasing number of pensioners, those paying taxes will be having a heavier burden.
I wonder what is the oil price that is the basis of this budget. We know that oil has dropped in recent weeks and the US sub-prime crisis is still on. Are we going to simply pump more oil? Or does PETRONAS have hidden reserves?
Helping the really poor with RM20 free electricity should not be a long term strategy. I would suggest that at least one child of every poor family (say below RM2000 per month) be granted a scholarship to study a practical course in university or technical school so that the poverty cycle can be broken within a few years.