A kick in the teeth for Pakatan


Budget 2016 has received international praise, hence the opposition should give credit where it’s due

Bob Ramli, Free Malaysia Today

Budget 2016 has been internationally praised as a credible effort to uplift the economic status of the country.

“I think it’s an astute move by the prime minister as he has extensively canvassed the feedback from outside and realises the middle-class also needs help.” – Patrick Tay Soo Eng, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) Executive Director.

“Budget 2016 was a judicious balance, set to tackle the current situation as well as maintain growth.” – Faris Hadad, World Bank Country Manager.

The government previously classified citizens living on household incomes of less than RM3,050 per month as the Bottom 40 (B40) group. Numerous attempts have been made to uplift the B40 to the middle-income bracket. World Bank data reveal that from 2011 to 2014, account ownership for the B40 group in Malaysia increased from 50% to 76%. Budget 2016 further allocates RM1.5 billion for the uplift of B40.

The budget also defines a new group of citizens called Middle 40 (M40), with household incomes in the RM3,860 to RM8,319 per month range. Budget 2016 introduces numerous measures to assist the M40 group as well. This move by the government has drawn applause from renowned economists.

It is not surprising that the Pakatan coalition is condemning the government’s budget. It is wary that this budget is going to elevate the country economically and this is not something it wants. Previously, it condemned the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) scheme. When clueless speculators predicted that Budget 2016 would end BR1M, Pakatan came up with an alternative budget that included BR1M in it. However, it received the sucker punch when rumours were proven false yet again and the government’s BR1M assistance for those in need was not discontinued.

Some opposition members claim that Budget 2016 is unrealistic and that such “handouts” by the government will bankrupt the nation. If the opposition were right in its predictions, Malaysia would have been bankrupt long ago. For some time, Tony Pua was warning that Malaysia was headed towards bankruptcy. However, a couple of months ago, he said Malaysia was unlikely to go bankrupt but would be affected badly if a global economic crisis hits. I strongly suggest that the producers of Batman consider casting Pua as The Joker if there is ever a Batman-Joker sequel in the future. No script will be required. Pua can just be himself, conspiring and riddling; he may perhaps become the first Malaysian to win an Oscar.