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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SLOWDOWN IS HERE, re-table Budget or we'll face serious repercussions - Anwar tells Najib


SLOWDOWN IS HERE, re-table Budget or we'll face serious repercussions - Anwar tells Najib
The slower economic growth of 4.7% for the first quarter of 2012, as announced recently by Bank Negara Malaysia, has a serious repercussion to the national finance.
It is the second time that Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration failed to achieve important economic targets which were the basis for the National Budget of 2012.
The first economic target missed was the economic growth for 2011, which at 5.1% was lower than the projected growth used by Barisan Nasional in the budget.
Don't just talk big, the economy needs action
I have cautioned Dato’ Seri Najib that his tendency to manipulate economic growth projection to present a much lower deficit target is irresponsible. During the debate on 2012 Budget in Dewan Rakyat on 10 October 2011, I had also argued that the economic assumptions used (i.e. 5.0% - 5.5% and 5% - 6% growth for 2011 and 2012 respectively) were seriously flawed.
It is now clear that the assumptions used to develop the 2012 Budget are not valid.
I reiterate my call made in Dewan Rakyat previously that the 2012 Budget should be re-tabled for a debate in the June session of the Parliament because the growth assumptions were wrong. If Barisan Nasional continues to spend according to the current budget, this will have a severe impact on the deficit level and can breach the 55% statutory limit of debt-to-GDP ratio.
Dato’ Seri Najib’s misleading remark that Pakatan Rakyat does not intend to implement economic policies expounded so far also warrants a closer scrutiny. He specifically misled the public when he accused Pakatan Rakyat of promising a RM4,000 minimum wage.
Pakatan plan to undo BN's economic decay
Pakatan Rakyat proposes a radical approach to undo the continuing economic decay due to Barisan Nasional’s mismanagement.
One of the most radical economic realignments proposed is to shift the policy focus from the much abused 30% equity target for Bumiputra currently pursued by Barisan Nasional; towards an income-based economic target of RM4,000 minimum household income for each family within 5 years of Pakatan’s administration.
The 30% equity target has been hijacked by cronies and special interests to enrich themselves at the expense of the general public. The disparity between rich and poor widens significantly as a result of the abuses done in the name of achieving the 30% equity target.
A fairer management of the country’s wealth should rightly focus on ensuring every family can prosper economically under the Malaysian sun. Every family’s income must rise in tandem with the rise in cost of living. Every family must earn above poverty level so as to be able to invest in the future of their children.
Thus, the economic target set by Pakatan Rakyat that the combined income of each Malaysian family should be at least RM4,000 a month is not only morally right but achievable through a combination of pro-people economic policies proposed.
Don't criticize but then avoid open debate
Dato’ Seri Najib should not criticise our economic policies when he avoided a public debate on such policies. If he is confident that Pakatan Rakyat will not be able to deliver our economic promises, he must be bold enough to defend his conviction in a public debate.
His refusal to debate with me on economic policies can only confirm the assertion that he is leading a weak government – economically, morally and intellectually.
Anwar Ibrahim is the Leader of the Malaysian Parliament

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