The first thing that came up on my mind when I saw Pakatan Harapan’s so called alternative budget is they are all nuts. I day this because out of 10 agendas they presented, only one make sense. Let us go into each of the agenda.
1. To abolish GST.
We have been going through this issue since forever. Since the revenue from petronas have been really low, the collection from GST helps the government today in its expenditure. If GST is no more, pray tell where is the PH government going to get the money to replace sum RM40 billion annual GST collection? PH fails to mention that. There is high possibility that there will some increase in personal and corporate tax, and that would not bode well for M40 and businesses. PH’s plan to abolish the consumption tax seems very noble indeed to get support from the voters. And also, getting rid of GST is not a guarantee that the cost of goods and services will go down.
2. Assisting PTPTN debtors
PH wants to wait until the debtors’ monthly income reach RM4000 to start calling their debt which currently standing at around RM40 billion. They are just going to let the debtors be complacent instead of being responsible in settling their education loans. What would happen if the debtors’ never reach RM4000. Does that mean they are not going to pay their debt forever? In the mean time, those who are just enrolling in colleges and universities would have to wait or do without. How is that fair for them?
3. Minimum Salary RM1500
Its good. Currently it is RM1200. But would it be feasible for the management of the government. And again, where is the PH government going to get the fund for that after it abolish GST and give more allocation for free education?
4. Affordable Home
It is easier said that done. That would require a lot of fund. Particularly if the houses are in urban areas. PH has not come up with a way to do it.
5. To eradicate corruption
The current government is doing it now. With the MACC going around making corrupt people shaking at their knees.
Thats a laugh. PH has been going on the ground trying to woo voters in FELDA’s settlements all over the country. What makes they think they can walk the talk when they are in power?
7. To abolish toll
First of all, buying toll concessions involves a massive amount of money. Again, how the PH government to finance the take over? Without toll collection? There is no imcome in this move. How noble, but it is going to put pressure on the government’s expenditure in the long run with the highway maintenance and all.
8. Oil Royalties
I agree with the increase of royalties. However, I consider 10% is sufficient to all Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Terengganu. We have to take into account that some of the oil money from federal budget are also spent in the states.
An optional leaves for a year or two without pay to look after their newborns is reasonable with a condition that the mothers get to come to the same position they prior to their leaves. Increase of maternity leaves from 90 days to 120 days is a tad too much. 120 days would not good for productivities of some companies. That would give reasons for employees not to employ women in their companies.
At the moment, the current government is doing a lot of things in Sabah and Sarawak. Among development efforts in the two states include billions of ringgit worth of highway that would enhance transportation in and between the states. There are other development as well that have been done. PH’s RM75 billion is ambitous. PH’s chairman Tun Mahathir was prime minister for 22 years and he never did anything substantial for Sabah and Sarawak when he was in power. Why now? Why not then when he had all the resources at his disposal?
I can only summise that the PH’s alternative budget is purely populist and only to lure voters. It lacks sense and full of contradiction. It is unlikely for the PH to go through with this budget if they are in power because there is not enough revenue coming in the government’s coffer. The alternative budget is a sure way for Malaysia to be just like Greece where the people suffer after they lived complacently, and the government fail to bring in money for expenditure. Perhaps the people in Malaysia would want to think a little bit deeper and harder before they cast their vote for PH.