MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, February 27, 2023

Wan Saiful asks if 'out-of-touch' budget inspired by Communist Manifesto


PARLIAMENT | Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan reached into the right-wing playbook today in launching a broadside against Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Budget 2023.

Calling the budget “out of touch”, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) lawmaker also asked if Anwar was inspired by the Communist Manifesto and whether the latter was trying to instigate class warfare.

“Several times in (the Budget 2023) speech, words were used that gave the impression that Tambun (Anwar) was trying to instigate class warfare in our country.

“This is a populist tactic that originates from leftist leaders especially Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their work, the Communist Manifesto.

“I detected whiffs of such thinking in Tambun’s speech," he said, adding a further query on whether Anwar wanted Malaysians to adopt such leftist thinking.

Class warfare refers to a conflict between social classes, particularly the working class and the elites.

The term was often used by US Republicans to attack any efforts by Barrack Obama to address societal inequality when the latter was in office.

Wan Saiful’s (PN-Tasek Gelugor) remarks today are likely in reference to sections in Anwar’s speech that was critical of the mega-rich (maha kaya) and called on them to contribute more to the nation.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim

The budget would introduce, among others, an income tax hike for those earning more than RM230,000 per annum as well as a tax on luxury goods.

Another key element of Anwar’s budget was the economic upliftment of the poor, with an aim to eliminate hardcore poverty within a year.

Wan Saiful, however, said the budget did not resonate with the people.

In particular, he said the budget ignored pleas by Employees Provident Fund contributors in dire straits for another round of special withdrawals.

“This government is detached from the hardships of the people because they (the government) are in such lofty positions up there.

“They do not feel the people’s sentiments who are struggling evermore. Not because the public has no money, but because that money is stuck in the EPF,” he said.

Anwar had said that the government would find other means to help the people rather than jeapordise their retirement savings.

The prime minister instead said that anyone aged 40 to 54 who had less than RM10,000 in their EPF Account 1, will get an RM500 top-up from the government. - Mkini

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