Saturday, December 01, 2012
UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak attempted to scare Malaysian voters that by voting Pakatan Rakyat, the latter will bankrupt the country in 3 years.
Najib said, the opposition under Anwar’s leadership was espousing poor policies, pointing to its plans to ensure an average of RM4,000 a month as household income, abolition of tolls and the PTPTN debt, RM500 special allowance for teachers and hiking the royalty payment to 20 percent for oil-producing states.
“If all these are done in the first year, the federal budget deficit will spiral to almost 30 percent. By 2015, our debt to GDP will sky-rocket to 140 percent.
“In three years time, we will reach a critical stage where we will lose our economic sovereignty, like Greece,” he said.
Without even going into the details of the accusations over Pakatan Rakyat policies which have been well rebutted by my colleagues previously, Najib’s claims are completely preposterous.
Pakatan Rakyat has unveiled our Alternative Budget for 2013 which has clearly spelt out our expenditure proposals which are much less extravagant and much more prudent than that by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government. We have proposed an expenditure of RM234 billion and projected a deficit of 3.5%, as opposed to BN’s RM252 billion and a 4% deficit. How did Najib pluck a 30% or a incredulous RM300 billion deficit from thin air?
In fact, if the BN Federal Government scandals are anything to go by, it is the current administration’s continued profligacy which will cause the country to be "bankrupt" if they are voted back into power.
We have seen how the BN Government provide all sorts of unacceptable excuses not to collect back RM250 million of soft loan extended to UMNO Wanita Chief Datuk Shahrizat Jalil’s family in the failed National Feedlot Corporation projects where the money was abused to purchase luxury condominiums. Similarly, Datuk Seri Najib has instructed that RM589.6 million of outstanding debt from Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli to Federal Government subsidiaries be completely written off for no good reason.
At the same time, we have surfaced RM140.2 billion worth of contingent liabilities or Federal Government guaranteed debts which are not included in our official debts of RM502 billion. The contingent liabilities or hidden debts are rising at an exponential rate as a means for the BN Government to bail out its cronies and failing GLCs such as the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ). In fact, the heavily indebted Port Klang Authority has officially requested the Finance Ministry to write up RM2.1 billion out of its RM4.6 billion debt incurred as a result of government guarantee.
On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat Governments have proven our prudence in managing state finances. The Selangor State Government for example has successfully recovered RM392 million worth of debt from Talam Corporation incurred during BN’s administration. Similarly, open and transparent policies have resulted in repeated surpluses in both the Penang and Selangor administrations. Penang achieved a record budget surplus of RM138 million in 2011 after successive surpluses since 2008. Similarly, the Auditor-General has also confirmed a surplus of RM180.5 million in 2011, a 45% increse from RM124.2 million achieved in 2010. The finacial reserves of the Selangor state government has also increased from a mere RM400 million in 2008 to a whopping RM2.4 billion today.
Pakatan Rakyat will implement prudent spending and will reallocate funds for our proposed expenditure, by cutting wasteful expenditure, restructuring subsidies target groups and eliminating corruption via open, transparent and competitive tenders and procurement systems.
Hence the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Malaysians throughout the country can evaluate and compare the performance of the BN administration versus the Pakatan state administrations over the past 5 years and make informed judgements. Pakatan Rakyat has more than proven that we are more than capable of strengthening the country’s finances and economy, while on the other hand, the continued corruption, abuse of power and profligacy under BN will inevitably lead to economic disaster for the nation.