MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, February 27, 2023

For the man in the street, a boring budget


From Nehru Sathiamoorthy

I read news reports that listed the budget highlights on the night it was tabled. I read the first few items on the list but found it so insipid and dull that it took a lot of energy to give it the minimum attention required.

Feeling that the list was taxing my attention without lighting my imagination, I scrolled to the bottom of these articles to see how long it was. I think I almost made it to the middle of the list before I completely gave up.

The budget was so boring that it scattered my attention and quickly drained my energy.

The only thing I remember from reading half these lists is that around three quarters of the budget is for operating expenditure while only a quarter will be used for development purposes.

Other than that, I also remember that this budget is bigger than the one proposed by Ismail Sabri Yaakob, which itself was touted as the most expensive budget Malaysia has ever come up with.

Thinking that it might perhaps just be me who found the budget dull, I decided not to come up with any conclusions until I heard what the analysts, economists and business community had to say.

By the looks of it, their analyses seems to confirm my initial impressions. Almost all the reports give it a neutral to negative rating. Indeed a bloody boring budget that terminally lacks imagination.

The only reason this budget is bigger than Ismail’s is probably a desire to differentiate by scale. When you don’t know what to say, you will say a lot. This budget is most likely just a copy of the previous budgets made by people still stuck in the past.

The US philosopher Eric Hoffer observed: “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

We are living in a time of great change, yet what we have is a government, which is so “learned” that it is unable to learn and so nostalgic that it is unable to imagine the future.

It is leading us to a world that no longer exists and a time that has long passed. - FMT

Nehru Sathiamoorthy is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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