Today’s budget presentation in Parliament by the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, makes dubious history.
I have personally seen some 42 Budget presentations in Parliament since my first election as MP, and this is the first time that a budget has attracted such derision because of its double absence of credibility – over the budget itself and the presenter of the budget.
This is why for the first time in Malaysia’s parliamentary history since Merdeka in 1957, there is a mass protest walk-out of Opposition MPs in Parliament during the presentation of the Budget!
Why had such protest walk-outs of MPs not happened in past budget presentations by past Finance Ministers?
Najib’s 2017 Budget makes double history – the first budget since Malaysia had acquired the infamy of being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy” as well as going down in history as one where Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak admits failure and repudiates Vision 2020 by announcing his own Vision 2050!
Najib’s repudiation of Vision 2020 was done in a very wily manner.
It was made at the end of his 2017 Budget speech, to a chamber of mostly BN or pro-BN MPs as over 70 Opposition MPs had staged a protest walk-out of the Parliament Chamber, and in a very indirect but most craven manner – as he did not have the courage to openly and directly repudiate Vision 2020 but had to resort to the sleight-of-hand of not mentioning Vision 2020 at all when announcing his new Vision 2050.
But there can be no doubt that Najib as good as repudiated former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020 when he announced his new vision, Transformasi Nasional 2050 (National Transformation 2050 – TN 50) as the new national lodestone for the next three decades when he said:
“From now on, TN50 is our lucky charm. Let the old legacy pass. The future of Malaysia, we Recreate.”
It is most shocking that Najib could so cavalierly and unceremoniously repudiated Vision 2020 when only in the last budget presentation last year, he reiterated his commitment to achieve Vision 2020 and the goal of a developed nation status.
What has happened to the 11th Malaysia Plan which Najib had announced in Parliament in March last year as “the final lap” in the country’s march to achieving developed nation status in 2020?
Has he abandoned both Vision 2020 and its final lap?
Have MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional component parties agreed to the failure and repudiation of Vision 2020 or is this another example of UMNO hegemony in Barisan Nasional, where the UMNO dictates as to what should be the Barisan Nasional policy and direction and the other 12 Barisan Nasional component parties just obey and follow?
If Vision 2020 is a national failure, is there a review and post-mortem as to why Vision 2020 had failed in its 30-Year Plan to achieve fully-developed nation status for Malaysia , with a more united Malaysian citizenry and democratic polity?
Malaysians have a right to know why the 30-year Vision 2020 had failed before they embrace and embark on Najib’s 34-year Vision 2050 – whether Transformasi Nasional 2050 or Deformasi Nasional 2050!
(Speech at the Bukit Kepayang DAP Anniversary Dinner in Seremban on Friday, 21st October 2016 at 9 pm)