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Saturday, October 30, 2021

YOURSAY | Not exactly a ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ budget


YOURSAY | Reactions from Malaysiakini readers to Budget 2022.

BusinessFirst: This is not a recovery budget. This is an election budget.

Yes, there are elements that if used properly can assist the economy to recover, but that is a given since you are pumping money into the economy.

However, two things stand out.

One, the massive amounts allocated to the Prime Minister’s Department. What is this for?

Two, the bonus for civil servants. What is the justification for this? The money should be spent on the starving and jobless. Civil servants did not lose their jobs or income during this pandemic, period!

If everyone has to sacrifice and pay windfall taxes and income tax on income sourced from abroad (note income that has nothing to do with Malaysia nor did Malaysia help to generate) to help, why are civil servants who have not lost jobs and income the beneficiaries of this help?

Besides staying at home, they have not only not had to take a pay cut but get a bonus too. Why stop there as if the stay-home policy is not enough for two years, throw in an additional five days leave as well. If there are winners in this pandemic it is our civil servants.

I accept that because I am suffering less than others that in these difficult times, I would have to pay more taxes including income from abroad which was not taxable before.

However, civil servants are not suffering because of Covid-19. When you say others are to carry the burden and do more, why are civil servants with iron rice bowls being given bonuses at this time, worse an increase as well? As a matter of principle, I cannot swallow this.

As for the help given, other than cash handouts which will be spent within a month, the other so-called help is also questionable. It’s good on paper but somehow one wonders if this is just another means to channel funds to their cronies?

After all, 150,000 laptops could not even be delivered in 2021, what confidence is there that these other "recovery" targets reach the parties who need it more and not cronies to fund an election.

I predict that the ringgit and the sovereign credit rating for Malaysia will drop when people assess rationally the budget, which unfortunately the foreign rating agencies will.

If the previous budget with its unrealistic projections (such unrealistic projections were proven true) was a D+, this budget fails to address the immediate needs of the country.

I pray that the pandemic does not rear its ugly head again so that people can try to help themselves. That is all they can do.

Salvage Malaysia: Tax exemptions, cash handouts, zero-interest loans with moratorium after that, etc. Some of these initiatives are good. But these are welfare initiatives.

I don’t see enough initiatives on pump-priming the industries with high multipliers and can generate higher money velocity.

If underlying businesses cannot be jump-started fast enough, the rakyat and local businessmen will eventually default on those zero-interest loans, money will be used up on one-off cash allocations, etc.

Yes, we need to protect the welfare of the people, but more importantly, we need to be more aggressive in policies to bring in FDIs (foreign direct investments) and focus on which domestic industries with high multipliers for government to pump money into.

Who needs tax exemptions when they have already lost their pants in 2021?

FairMalaysian: Look at these staggering figures:

"RM11.4 billion for bumiputera programmes, of which RM6.6 billion is for bumiputera education programmes. Other bumiputera allocations include RM4.8 billion for capacity-building programmes and RM100 million in matching grants for bumiputera SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in the aerospace industry."

Why the grants for the aerospace industry are limited to bumis only?

Pakatan Harapan is really useless. It keeps telling us that it has given its inputs but what we see is the above. PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim and Amanah leader Mohamad Sabu may support these programmes but what is DAP leader Lim Guan Eng doing?

Ronald Quay: Indeed, I really cannot understand why the government has to award RM700 to each civil servant. During the pandemic, while the SMEs employees were either laid off or suffered a cut in salaries, nothing of this sort happened to the civil servants.

What about the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Malaysians? And not forgetting, the lower-income groups?

Demi Rakyat: I agreed that pensioners should be supported but definitely no reason to give bonuses to the civil servants who are receiving full pay without doing much work.

MMKD: Why tax online shopping? The government should be glad that the rakyat are doing online shopping. It is contactless shopping, so much safer than conventional shopping.

ScarletKoala2342: Taxing sales and purchases is highly regressive. I am disappointed to see that the government is not raising income tax rates for the so-called T20 (top 20 percent).

I'm ready to contribute more to help the country and I'm sure that many others are too. Stop whacking the B40 and M40 (bottom and middle 40 percent).

Maya: "Those who settle their PTPTN (National Education Fund) loans in full will be given a 15 percent discount. Those who opt for partial settlement will be given a 12 percent discount if they settle at least 50 percent of their loan."

Those who choose not to settle the loans, no discount?

Sebuk: Malaysia loves to reward the “late payers” be they involving traffic fines, or in this case, PTPTN loans by giving them discounts.

This has created a mentality where one need not pay the dues on time whilst if one were to dilly dally, you will get a discount.

This is no way to run a country, let alone train the citizens to be civic minded.

Anticonmen: What a joke! A regime more interested in sanitary pads rather than quality education,

treating women as equals, empowering and assuring them not to feel ashamed of their God-given role in procreation. - Mkini

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