Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said The Washington Post had recently published an article where Malaysia had been branded as the world champion of corruption. Lim noted that Najib had not touched on the subject of corruption when reading the 2014 Budget on Friday.
"Furthermore, Najib has not taken any action against those responsible for the leakages, wastage and financial mismanagement highlighted in the 2012 Auditor-General Report. The RM6.5 billion which was frittered away by the civil service will have a negative impact on the economy," Lim said in a statement today.
"The warning signs are already there, the fiscal deficit of RM541 billion is nearly 55% of Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The government is still taking a relaxed attitude towards reining in expenditure and fighting corruption."
Lim dismissed Putrajaya's vow of spending prudently, saying it was meaningless if those who had committed leakages, wastage and financial wrongdoings were not hauled up and punished. He said Barisan Nasional was not serious nor sincere in slashing the current fiscal deficit.
"Malaysia's credit outlook has already been downgraded by Fitch ratings from stable to negative. Is this not alarming enough for Putrajaya? The Economic Report 2013/14 indicated that the expected revenue collection for this year is RM14.4 billion higher than the original estimation."
"With a RM14.4 billion increase in revenue, the fiscal deficit should have been lowered from 4% of the GDP to 2.6%. The fiscal deficit for 2013 should have shrunk from RM39.9 billion to only RM25.6 billion but it remains at RM37 billion," Lim pointed out.
He said it was clear that Putrajaya was not serious about reducing the budget deficit when it is planning to waste the additional revenue on white elephant projects, such as the RM5 billion 100-storey Menara Warisan. Lim questioned how the RM5 billion could compare with the RM400 million Putrajaya saves following the removal of the sugar subsidy.
"What is even more ridiculous is Najib attempting to distract the public's attention by claiming he was doing the public good in removing the sugar subsidy. Najib claimed the removal of sugar subsidy would reduce the number of diabetic cases and improve men's sexual libido, which is completely inappropriate and irresponsible," Lim said.
Lim also expressed his disappointment that the 2014 Budget offered nothing to Penang, especially as Barisan Nasional was not keeping a promise it made in 2007 that a Mass Rapid Transit would be built in the island state.
"Next year's budget is discriminatory as it only provides funding for groups which supported Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election. Vernacular schools only received assistance after MCA leaders questioned why there was no funding," Lim added.
"The 2014 Budget reflects Barisan Nasional's 5Ds - divisive, discriminatory, deceit, debt and deficits - and it is not about 1Malaysia or national reconciliation. Najib's assurances at the opening of the Gerakan general assembly on Saturday that BN would be moderate, progressive, inclusive and fair is just empty rhetoric," Lim asserted.
He also slammed the government for deceiving the rakyat, saying the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) would cost each Malaysian an average of RM850 a year, while the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) was only RM650 a year.
"So who is going to cover the shortfall? In a family of 10, the GST would cost them RM8,500 annually but they only receive a one-time cash handout of RM650," Lim said, wondering how this was going to work out for the lower income group. - October 27, 2013.