Posts Tagged ‘Budget 2013

19
Oct
12

Malaysia’s total debt exposure far exceeds 55% of GDP!

RM502.4 billion – Federal govt debt (53.7% GDP)
RM116.76 billion – Govt guaranteed loans (as of 2011, may be higher in 2012)

RM619.16 billion – Estimated total debt exposure(66% GDP)

Federal debt
(source: Malaysiakini)

Govt guaranteed loans
(source: Auditor-General’s Report 2011)

11
Oct
12

Budget 2013: Expenditure for PM’s dept doubled since 2008 to RM14.6Billion

PM's Dept

(image source: Malaysiakini)

09
Oct
12

Beware the Budget 2013 lollipops

Budget 2013

(courtesy: Johnny Ong)

08
Oct
12

Another budget, more cash handouts and more dithering over an election date – Economist

THE prime minister, Najib Razak, fancies himself as the Tony Blair of Malaysian politics. Like the former British prime minister, Mr Najib purports to be a progressive reformer, on a mission to “modernise” his country. The British-educated Mr Najib also likes to pay as much attention to the spin on his policies as to their substance. He even hires former Blair advisers to make sure he gets it right.

For all that, Mr Najib increasingly resembles the hapless Gordon Brown, Mr Blair’s nemesis and successor. For years Mr Brown agitated to push his rival aside. When at last he succeeded, Mr Brown blew it by missing the chance to call an early election while he was still relatively popular. Rather than winning his own mandate, Mr Brown, unelected and indecisive, watched his authority drain away until he was boxed into calling an election right at the end of his term—which he then lost.

Similarly, Mr Najib took over after an internal party coup in April 2009 against the then prime minister, Abdullah Badawi. Talk of an early election for Mr Najib to secure his own mandate first surfaced towards the end of 2010. He himself began to talk up his chances the following June. Then an election was expected towards the middle of this year. All along, Malaysia has been on an election footing, with the cautious Mr Najib ponderously cultivating the voters.

He has crafted new policies for Malaysia’s younger, unaligned citizens while giving away plenty of money to retain his party’s traditional supporters, especially among the ethnic-Malay (and Muslim) majority. In the budget in late September more cash handouts went to poorer households and a one-month salary bonus to all government workers. They usually vote for Mr Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

Would that there were more to show for all the shadow electioneering. Opinion polls conducted by the respected Merdeka Centre (the latest were for June) gave the prime minister an approval rating of 64%, down from the high point of his popularity in the middle of 2010. Still not bad, you might think, but the popularity of the ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN), is much lower than the prime minister’s own. So now Mr Najib’s options are diminishing fast. He is required to call an election by April at the latest. In the process he has acquired a reputation for dithering, and now has the regrettable distinction of being Malaysia’s second-longest-serving unelected prime minister, just behind his own father, the country’s second prime minister.

…more
No time like tomorrow
Another budget, more cash handouts and more dithering over an election date
Oct 6th 2012 – The Economist

07
Oct
12

Budget 2013: Najib’s Last Hurrah? (Part 1)

Illusions of well-being

The general elections between 1998 and 2008 were preceded by “feel good” Budgets that created the illusion of well-being. The electoral set back suffered by the BN in 2008 led to a change in the way public funds came to be utilized. The most recent Budgets delivered by Najib have moved towards targeted cash and other handouts to key support groups.

These transfers were directed to select voting groups and segments of the population. The Budget for 2013 proposes the following key transfers:

a) RM60 million to increase the minimum pension from RM720 to RM820 for pensioners who have been in civil service for at least 25 years.

b) RM301 million to provide a special incentive of RM200 per month to all military personnel, effective from 1 January 2013.

c) RM224million for a one-off RM1,000 to assist former members of the armed forces who have opted for early retirement;

d) RM3billion for assistance of RM250 to households where the head is earning less than RM3,000 and for single unmarried individuals aged 21 and above earning less than RM2,000 per month.

e) Individual income tax rate is to be reduced by 1 percentage point for each income bracket where annual taxable income falls between RM2,500 to RM50,000.

f) RM540 million will be allocated for the Schooling Assistance Program under which RM100 will be provided to all primary and secondary students.

g) Payment of an additional half-month bonus to civil servants in Dec-12 and another half-month bonus

Alarming rate of increase in debt

The over-riding issue confronting Malaysia at this critical phase in its economic history is the alarming rate of increases in level of debt. Malaysia faces insolvency unless urgent measures are taken to check this slide to disaster.

Malaysia is in danger of a serious major debt crisis. It faces the very same issues that triggered the financial crisis faced by Greece and other weaker economies in the EUROZONE.

In a sense the circumstances in Malaysia are worse. There appears to be a total lack of willingness to learn lessons or to heed the polite warnings extended by the IMF and the rating agencies.

The lack of transparency and a sense of denial pose special dangers that the Prime Minster has chosen to ignore in his thrust to buy the next election. And buying the election appears to be the over-arching goal irrespective of the economic cost to the nation.

He is hell bent on his quest for power.

Hell-bent on maintaining power – nation & economy can go to the dogs!

This potential crisis has been long in the making. The Budget deficits have ballooned and for the year 2012; the Federal Government’s debt is estimated to amount to RM502 billion or 53.7 percent of GDP just a little short of the 55 percent mark that sets limits to the size of permissible debt.

The Federal Government’s debt has grown from RM 229 billion in 2005 to RM 502 billion under the Najib administration. Thus, more debt has been accumulated in six years than what took 48 years after Merdeka to accumulate.

Be that as it may, the estimates of the deficits and the resulting size of the Federal Government’s debt do not take account of the rising level of contingent liabilities which are debt guarantees issued by the Federal Government. These stood at RM96.9 billion or 12.2% of GDP at the end of 2010 and mushroomed to RM 117 billion by the end of 2011. They continue to grow.

…more
Budget 2013: Najib’s Last Hurrah? (Part 1) – Kit Siang
Written by Lim Kit Siang
04 October 2012 – Malaysia Chronicle

06
Oct
12

Budget 2013 – Votes in the moneybag

Budget 2013 is a sweetener to secure another deal from the people but it may not be enough to save the skin of the prime minister.

Was it an election budget? The government says no, but all the goodies dished out unerringly indicate the way is paved for the prime minister to ring the bell and call for election. He dangles many carrots and wants the people to buy them with their votes. The budget is the only story left to tell the people that there is a happy ending if the same government is returned to power. All the promises will be fulfilled only when the mandate is safely in the pocket of the prime minister. The most powerful man in the country hopes the people will forget all the old chapters on corruption and abuse of power. He wants a new beginning and a new licence – to continue his old ways.

Money can be a potent weapon to manipulate public opinion, especially when times are hard. A government will look good when it throws money to the poor. A leader becomes a hero when he satisfies the material needs of the impoverished masses. He becomes a deity when the downtrodden adores him for his boundless generosity. With all the wealth of the country at his disposal, the prime minister can do no wrong. Money is on tap and can be used at any time. It is most useful when election is around the corner and when the prime minister is in danger of losing his pants.

Billions will be spent to develop the country in the relentless quest for a high-income status. Indeed, 2020 is the vision set for us to become a developed nation. By then, the promised land will rise and all will live in splendid circumstances. The only flaw in this story line is that the rich will become richer and the poor poorer. All the mega projects are for the enrichment of companies and individuals linked to the political establishment. The majority of the citizens will stay stuck in the quagmire of rural and urban poverty.

The push for a modern state will leave many people dispossessed and dislocated. They do not matter in the grand scheme of things. They will be ruthlessly driven out to make way for the playthings of conglomerates supported by the unscrupulous politicians. New soaring skylines will emerge as Malaysia races to be on par with the technologically advanced economies. The only people who will marvel at the new “shiny city on the hill” are the corrupt, the depraved, the rapacious. The others who live on the fringes can only seethe with frustration.

Political ambitions

Budget 2013 promises a better quality of life in this resplendent city. All are cared for: the young, the old, the sick, the fishermen, the farmers, the jobless graduates, the homeless, the civil servants and many more – in return for their votes. Billions will be pouring in to finance the programmes although no one knows how and where the money will come from, given the unpromising domestic economic trends and the depressing global business scene. Prudent spending or fiscal responsibility is not our strength. Millions in public funds have gone down the drain over the years unaccounted for. Still, there is not a care in the world about the misuse of taxpayers’ money.

…more
Votes in the moneybag
October 2, 2012 – FMT

05
Oct
12

Najib’s 2013 Budget: No Class, Undeserving of Support

If Najib cannot defend his budget, it means, it’s not worth the support of the people. We have not even begun to go into details yet. Najib’s 2013 Budget has no character to speak of in the first place.

He insults all those hardworking civil servants who have put in so many person-hours into preparing the Budget. Suddenly his political minders insert in a number of knee-jerker standard last minute afterthoughts- rebates for smartphones, allowances for unmarried persons. The officers at MOF will now have to screen the thousands of individuals who qualify to get the money promised to ascertain they are not yet married?

Najib’s budget is all about electioneering. He uses the valuable airtime to goad and sneer at Pakatan’s budget proposals. Over in Penang, where the PM engages in his usual banshee-like speechifying, he derided Pakatan’s Economic Blueprint. If he must know, the rakyat are finding Pakatan’s Buku Jingga more credible each day.

The same can’t be said of his economic blueprint. And his 2013 Budget. You must have something to hide if you are scared to defend your own budget.

What about his own economic blueprint? He has only got the serious sounding alphabet soup which makes us dizzy- GTP, ETP, EPP, PDP, NKRA, the list seems to go on and on. Where is the NEM- New Economic Model? When asked about NEM he could only say its market driven affirmative action. What is that? It’s nothing but the continuation of the policies that were started by Mahathir. JumpStart Malay economics by picking, choosing and awarding all sort of licenses, advantages, near monopolies to a coterie of friends and cronies especially those who party with the PM and his now Imelda Macos-like Mrs. PM, golfing buddies, cigar smoking kakis. All done in the name of the faceless, nameless Malays of course. Always in the name of agama, bangsa dan negara.

Let’s talk a little more about the world economy. Because, BN leaders who control state legislative assemblies make it a religious routine to always point out the state of the word economy when scoring points over how they handled our economy. Same routine it is with Najib. While the world economy is bad, I managed the economy better. Only UMNO and BN can.

They all make the same mistake of ignoring the rising awareness of people out there. They think they are speaking to and down to dullards.

The world’s largest economy, the US is in a mess. Europe is in a bigger mess. Japan is in a deflation mood since the last three decades with nowhere to go. China is already slowing down. Its stock market, already down more than 60%.When China gets hit hard later this year, the whole world will be typhooned. Nowadays when China sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold. Malaysia will get hit even harder as its debts are now out of control and unmanageable, unlike Singapore.

Najib’s economic minders seemed oblivious to market signals. They keep supporting our economy by intervening believing they can tame market forces. Maybe they learnt economics from Ibrahim Ali. Their blissful forced-ignorance is for all to see as in how the Najib government is handling the FGV price.

Didn’t he mention FGV in gloating terms during his Budget electioneering speech.

The share price of FGV is stuck at around the RM4.80 area. How does it become that way despite the world economy nose-diving? It becomes that because of government challenging market forces and believing they can win. The Najib administration supports the share prices of FGV at all cost, so as not to lose the support of the Felda voters in the coming GE. So it forces people like EPF,PNB, state GLC’s, Cornerstone investors ,Umno cronies and front men to keep buying the shares to prevent them from falling down further.

…more
Najib’s 2013 Budget: No Class, Undeserving of Support.
3 October 2012 – Sakmongkol

05
Oct
12

Budget 2013 – Beggars’ budget

One thing you could say for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s Budget 2013 is that at least it accurately reflects the Umno/BN philosophy of government: beggar the nation with ever-bigger projects for members and cronies and treat the rakyat like beggars by tossing them some small change.

Small change, in fact, could well in reality be the regime’s slogan, with infinitesimally small or even regressive changes to much-loathed laws against press freedom and the right to public protest misrepresented as “transformation”, and the occasional dispensation of a few lousy bucks to the poor and disadvantaged to try and buy their votes on the cheap.

Then this bunch of crooks tries to dress up the whole ugly mess with belief-beggaring statements like Najib’s lying claim as quoted by his mouthpiece ‘news’ agency Bernama that “the 2013 budget is not to fish for votes, but a commitment by the government to bring prosperity to the country”.

He went on to make absolute nonsense of this “no-fishing” claim by explaining that the choice of the name ‘Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M2.0) for the doling-out of peanuts to the peasants in the budget “was also one way of hitting at the opposition for organising Bersih 2.0”.

“We call it BR1M2.0 actually to hit at the opposition for organising Bersih 2.0 which was totally not clean,” he crowed, in defiance of the universally-known fact that Bersih 2.0 was a massive public call for the clean and fair elections that voters have long been begging for, and Umno/BN continues to strenuously deny them.

In other words, he was continuing to fish for votes in his typically fishy fashion even as he tried to deny it. And thus only served to remind us all that his budget was vote-hooking expedition from start to finish, complete with a vicious and lying attack on the opposition.

Unlike the opposition, he claimed, “BN has never promised the moon and stars or the galaxy. We have never painted a pretty picture based on wishful thinking.”

“As a responsible government, we continue to speak the truth, even though it may be unpleasant,” he continued, “we have never misled the rakyat with tall tales.”

When of course the fact is that Umno/BN has never misled the rakyat with anything but tall tales, as continuously told by Najib and his partners-in-crime and re-told on their behalf by a propaganda machine comprising expensive publicly-funded public relations consultancies and the entire Umno/BN-owned and/or dominated mainstream media.

…more
Beggars’ budget
Dean Johns
Oct 3, 2012 – Malaysiakini

05
Oct
12

Smartphone rebate a foolish move

It will only enrich government appointed dealers, says PKR.

SEREMBAN: The RM200 rebate for the purchase of 3G smartphones is an unwise move by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, said PKR.

Najib announced the one-off special package, worth RM300 million, for youths aged 21 to 30 years and earning a monthly income of RM3,000 and below.

“This is to benefit 1.5 million youths,” Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said when tabling Budget 2013 last Friday.

However, PKR’s strategic director, Rafizi Ramli, said the move will only enrich dealers as Najib also announced that the rebate would only be valid when purchased from appointed outlets.

“It’s a stupid announcement. I want to ask those of you present here, how much is the price of a smartphone? The average price is around RM1,000 to RM1,500.

“If a youngster wants to enjoy the RM200 rebate, he’ll have to fork out RM800 from his own pocket to purchase the smartphones. So, the dealer earns RM800.

“If you don’t fork out the RM800 you will not get the smart phones. Those who stand to benefit most are not the ‘rakyat’ but the appointed dealers,” Rafizi told a ceramah here yesterday.

Rafizi also criticised the condition set by the government compelling purchasers of the smart phones to subscribe to internet packages as well.

“That means you cannot be a prepaid user anymore as you need to subscribe to the internet package if you take advantage of the rebate, which will definitely cost more than the prepaid.

“This will further escalate the expenditure of those who purchase smart phones. It’s Najib’s stupid economics. He doesn’t understand? He doesn’t think?” said Rafizi.

…more
Smartphone rebate a foolish move
Zefry Dahalan
October 1, 2012 – FMT

04
Oct
12

Rafizi: One trillion ringgit GDP is Najib’s maths trick

PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said the much-boasted estimation by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak that the Malaysian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will surpass the one trillion ringgit milestone in 2013 is merely a “mathematics trick”.

The accountant-turned-politician told a forum last night that the 2013 GDP is a nominal value measured in the constant prices of 2005, while the 2012 GDP is measured in the constant prices of 2000.

“When we revise our base year from 2000 to 2005, the 2013 GDP will increase by RM60 billion. If we still use 2000 as base year, the 2013 GDP would be about RM980 billion,” he explained.

The revision of base year not only produced a higher GDP, but also portrayed a lower deficit-to-GDP ratio of 4.0 percent because the estimated RM40 billion deficit in 2013 is a constant value regardless of base year, claimed Rafizi (right).

“If we take 2000 as base year, the deficit-to-GDP ratio would be higher than 4.0 percent, about 4.4 percent.”

…more
Rafizi: One trillion ringgit GDP is Najib’s maths trick
Oct 4, 2012 – Malaysiakini





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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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