Archive for October 7th, 2011

Budget 2012 fails to live up to the Prime Minister’s reform pledges in NEM, GTP and ETP

Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur

The expectations were high for a pre-election budget where Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak will stamp his “reformist” credentials. It is for the Prime Minister to put into action the various reform pledges made in his cornerstone policy blueprints – the New Economic Model (NEM), Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

However, the announcement of the budget left much to be desired as little has changed beyond tweaking the budget of the previous financial year. Instead what is perhaps the most worrying is that Malaysians are like the proverbial frog in the hot soup – where the frog does not realise the soup is slowly but surely reaching the boiling point.

We may not yet be facing the crisis of Greek proportions, but Budget 2012 is doing very little to avert such eventuality, leaving the Malaysian economy nakedly exposed to the inevitability. Read the rest of this entry »


My dream Malaysia Part 1 – Home Front

by Richard Loh
October 5, 2011

My dream comes true in a dream within a dream. I woke up to find a total different Malaysia that most Malaysians have been waiting for even though we have yet to attain the developed status. But, is being a developed nation that important when the rakyat are just as happy and living a peaceful and prosperous life with a matured democracy?

Home Front

My daily routine after waking up is to stand at the balcony of my 900 SF apartment, breathing some fresh air generated from the greenery’s not far away. This apartment was bought by my daughter who can afford to do so because it was reasonably priced and an income that allows her to do so.

On my breakfast table there were three newspapers, Utusan, NST and The Star. I read through them one at a time and feel happy reading them. Utusan headlines “Timbalan Perdana Mentri, XYZ, di- arah ka MACC untuk siasatan korupsi”, The Star front page news ‘A top NGO leader was sentenced to five years imprisonment for calling other ethnic groups ‘pendatang’ while NST reported that an opposition MP was disqualified after he was declared a bankrupt. All the papers were reporting exactly what is happening around us and I could not find a report about religion or racial conflict.

After breakfast I took a drive to the market,(usually I would take the MRT, which is nearby and directly stop at destinations where I wanted to go) about 10km away to test my new 1.6 Protonsia. This Protonsia is 100% Malaysian make, body and engine designed by local engineers and safety test approved by the international automobile association. This car model was even exported to the United States with the same price tag as other imported cars like Toyota, Nissan or Mazda of the same engine capacity. Read the rest of this entry »


Tax reliefs: Hidden subsidies that favour the rich

— Subramaniam Pillay
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 07, 2011

OCT 7 — In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of talk on subsidy rationalisation i.e. the removal of subsidies for basic items like cooking oil, sugar, flour and petrol. The argument is that it subsidises the poor as well as the rich; it is unfair to provide subsidies for the rich, so we must eliminate the subsidies and let market forces work.

Many of these subsidies help the poor and the rich equally. For example, if a family consumes 5kg of cooking oil per month, they get the same subsidy regardless of their wealth and income. Usually, consumption of basic food items does not increase with increasing wealth and income.

However, there is a large hidden subsidy which favours the rich over the poor that has been conveniently forgotten. And this comes in the form of the various tax reliefs offered to taxpayers. In this week, before the 2012 Budget is announced, there have been numerous calls to increase the tax relief for various items including premiums for medical insurance, educational insurance and life insurance.

Tax reliefs are is a very regressive form of government subsidies to the taxpayers. The richer the taxpayer, the more subsidy she gets from the government. Thus it is unfair and inequitable. Read the rest of this entry »