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The title of course refers to be making this blog post and DAP bothering to prepare an shadow budget despite having no financial information to do so. One of the more interesting bits is that DAP wants to lower taxes on the rich but increase them with the lower-middle class.

Legislating the use of oil and gas revenue. It is proposed that 50 percent of oil and gas revenues be invested in human capital and research and development, while another 25 percent be used to strengthen the social security for those who are in need. Legislating the revenue will also help prevent the mis-allocation of resources to bailout failed projects.

This is one of their more reasonable suggestions, yet they complain about “mis-allocation of resources” while 50% would be invested in “human capital and research and development”.

Education in Malaysia has never really been a problem of lack of funds, just the stupid use of it. I mean, sure, you can have paths made of gold in the various tertiary and vocational institutions, but the effect on human capital development is limited at best. Instead, with current funds, we can have less shitty textbooks, train less shitty teachers – stuff like that.

Better yet is for the oil wealth to be invested in a Norwegian- or Alaskan-like trust fund, charged with investing the income to create more income. In other words, the motivation is profit-maximization.

An allocation of RM43.3 billion, or 26.3 percent of the overall budget, to be used on education and training. It is proposed that out of the 250 new schools to be built, 60 and 15 will be Chinese and Tamil schools to ease overcrowding faced by these schools.

Urgh, vernacular schools. The problem is that national schools have become sort-of “vernacular” schools (just for Malays). At least in perception, that is. The solution here isn’t to build more Chinese and Tamil schools because that would be compounding another problem.

A blueprint for the ‘valley circle’ rail network will be developed to improve inter-suburban connectivity, by-passing the congested Kuala Lumpur city centre under RM13.6 billion allocated to improve the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

This is one of their more delirious suggestions. Consider that inter-suburb commuting is relatively rare, where else rail transit between suburbs and KL is shitty. Fix a bigger problem first.

The government is urged to re-negotiate with highway toll concessionaires and independent power producers to protect public interest within a six month period and in the event whereby no significant headway is made in the negotiations, it is proposed that the government acquire the assets of these entities and the resultants of the savings will then be passed on to consumers.

“Agree with us or we’re buy you out”. I’m not saying that I’m agreeing with status quo, just that the policy set out by DAP is significantly worse. Consider yourself an investor – the government tells an industry they have six months to make a deal, else they would be nationalized. Would you want to invest in Malaysia?

If a deal can’t be struck in a mutually-beneficial manner, it is much better for the government to work within the contract and wait till the concession ends.

A 1 percent reduction of the top tax bracket to 27 percent is proposed while the first RM15,000 chargeable income will become tax exempt, with the subsequent RM15,000 taxed at 7 percent, to help Malaysians cope with the rise in living expenses. Currently, only the first RM2,500 is tax exempt while the subsequent RM2,500 is taxed at 1 percent.

Tax cuts! Or is it? Consider the tax rate above RM15,000 is 3% today. That’s a 4-point increase.

Approved Permits (APs) currently issued for free shall be auctioned to the highest bidders. This will provide an estimated additional RM1.75 billion to the government coffers.

Why does this sound so Singaporean? If DAP had the balls to challenge the NEP in its budget, why not national car industry protection? Or rather, Proton protection? (BTW, I’m focusing on cars here because I don’t think DAP means APs in general. Sad if they want rights to import rice auctioned).

Women to enjoy an extension of maternity leave from 60 to 90 days if they have worked for at least 180 days prior to delivery with the employer.

Way a go! Make women less desirable to employers. PAS would definitely support this!

RM240 million is allocated as grant to non-governmental organisations.

Status quo, a substantial portion of DAP’s revenue comes from the various NGOs. But that, of course, has nothing to do with the grant. Nor, of course, would this impede the autonomous nature of NGOs. Or be bias. And surely government funding wouldn’t contradict the “non-governmental” part of “non-governmental organisations”.

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One Comment

  1. Wow, I did not know that additional 30 days of maternity leave would really make a big difference in terms of desirability for the employer. Less desirable, logically yes, but to what kind of degree?


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