Most Malaysians by now would have read about Budget 2008 -- it's on the front pages of all MSM today. To me, it's an GENERAL ELECTIONS BUDGET. Period.
Now let me move on to my Dreamt Budget. Going back a few days to my Post titled "Petronas was giving an angpow to mark Merdeka..." dated 3 Septmber 2007:
"Oops, Desi was only day-dreaming last night. I dreamt that the Prime Minister in his coming Budget had announced on behalf of Petronas that all Senior Citizens and every Malaysian household earning less than RM1,500 per month would get a Bonus of RM2,000 to be paid out of Petronas' fantastic net profits of RM54.5billion (Errata: should read RM46.4billion after I checked my files. BUT Desi could still be closer to the truth because at a recent dialogue between Bloggers and Petronas adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Putrajaya, the former PM in reply to a question from YL Chong said he could not deny nor confirm whether some profits of Petronas could have been syphoned off somehere else!) FYE March 2007. I was also jumping with joy at the goodest news of the Merdeka 50th anniversary celebrations until someone pinched me, and I woke up to see my bubble of joy burst. No, Petronas has NEVER SHARED its rising harvests with us -- The Rakyat -- on our behalf the national oil corporation holds the trusteeship of NegaraKu's most precious natural resource, Black Gold, YES?"
My dear EsteemedReaders, now that Desi's dream bubble has been burst, may I have thy permission to go back to bed for aMore Dreams?
* That in the coming General Electiions -- I predict to be held in November with this latest GE Budget announced as inducement and seduction with 1.2million minus some Votes of government civil servants these UMNO guys think are easily bought! -- despite the BN's "BRIBERY", the Parti Keadilan Rakyat will make substantial gains in Parliament, and
** Cometh the following GE in 2012/2013, PKR will improve its elections performance sufficiently to lead the Alternative Government Coalition. THEN, and ONLY THEN WITH THE HELP OF AN ENLIGHTENED ELECTORATE< Desi's DREAMT BUDGET could become a reality.
IF SABAH Foundation could deliver angpow to Sabahans, if the Singapore Government could give an angpow to its citizens arising from its Surplus Budget (in a republic without much of Malaysia's natural resources), there is NO BLARDY REASON why NegaraKu cannot share some of Petronas' largesse with the Rakyat.
My Budget Dreamt could still come true some five years from now IF THE PEOPLE -- that means YOU, my dear ER! -- WAKE UP FROM A CONTINUING NIGHTMARE under the Barisan Nasional government misled by UMNO, strive for change. Yes, IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE!
There is Hope yet on the horizon. Malaysians must seize the day. Negaraku's destiny lies in all our hands.
UPDATEd at 5.00pm:
Okay, to be balanced, let Desi extract a foreign wire AP reports on the Budget 2008, which I reiterate is a General Elections Budget, period:
Malaysia's Budget Cuts Corporate Tax
Friday September 7, 5:45 am ET;
By Eileen Ng, Associated Press Writer
Malaysia's 2008 Budget Cuts Corporate Tax, Dangles Carrot to Attract Islamic Funds
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- The Malaysian government announced Friday a further corporate tax reduction, and offered Islamic fund management companies concessions -- including full foreign ownership and a nine-year tax holiday -- as part of the 2008 budget. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also unveiled steps to stimulate the property sector, and said he was abolishing all school fees, which had already been negligible, in government schools. Textbooks will be free, he said.
"The budget will focus on three main strategies, namely enhancing the nation's competitiveness, strengthening human capital development and sharing the well being of all Malaysians," he said, reading out the budget, dressed in dark blue traditional Malay shirt and black cap. Corporate tax, already slated to go down to 26 percent in 2008, will be reduced to 25 percent in 2009 to "enhance the nation's competitiveness and spur the growth of private investment," Abdullah said in announcing the 176.9 billion ringgit ($50.54 billion) budget.
Corporate tax is currently 27 percent.
"I am confident that this reduction will have spillover effects in terms of economic growth and employment opportunities," he said in his 1 1/2 hour-seech. But he disappointed most Malaysians by failing to provide any other tax reliefs, including in personal income tax. In a bid to consolidate its position as a global Islamic financial hub, Malaysia will allow foreigners to fully own Islamic fund management companies, he said.
The government's pension scheme, the Employment Provident Fund or EPF, will channel 7 billion ringgit ($2 billion) to be managed by Islamic fund management companies. These companies will be given income tax exemption on all fees received until 2016, and will be allowed to invest all their assets abroad. At the same time, the government said it will issue three new stock broking licensees to companies that can source investment funds from the Arab countries. Abdullah said the government will let Malaysians make monthly withdrawals from the EPF to finance house purchases. The scheme will make available up to 9.6 billion ringgit ($2.74 billion) annually for buying houses. The government will also give 50 percent stamp duty exemption on the purchase of a house worth less than 250,000 ringgit ($72,000). The measure will reduce the cost of purchasing a house by up to 2,000 ringgit ($571).
Abdullah said the economy is projected to grow between 6 and 6.5 percent in 2008, driven by stronger private investment and consumption as well as public consumption. Private investment is expected to expand at 9.5 percent. The budget is 10.9 percent higher than 2007. In a separate economic report, also released Friday, the Finance Ministry said economic growth next year will remain broad-based, led by consumer spending, increased global demand for commodities like oil, gas and palm oil as well as higher exports growth of 6.8 percent from 4.8 percent this year."
Continuing with the NEW DEAL for Malaysians who are not half-asleep like some of Malaysian CEOs~~
In his paper titled “Fleshing Out The Malaysian Economic Agenda: Creating A New Deal”, the PKR Secretary-General Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who served for a short while as party Treasurer, also stated (the following are all quoting Khalid,and the highlights -- BOLDED thus -- are all mine, OK!):
“What’s sad is that the ruling classes have perpetuated the myth that things are getiing better, not worse. For the common people. By milking this myth, they have won votes and propped up the status quo.
How then can ordinary Malaysians work to halt the vicious circle and start an economic and social revolution?
The first step is to build awareness of the true state of affairs among the grassrootsby exposing the truth, which is what this “New Deal” aims to do.
What is the truth? That the preceding and/or extant economic policies created to purported strengthen unity and harmony by redrawing soial lines and eradicating poverty did not deliver the goods. That the affirmative action programmes of the New Economic Policy, and its successors the National Development Policy (1991-2000), the Dasar Wawasan Negara (2001-2010) and the National Mission (2006-2020) have either failed or are on the verge of flatlining.
THE NEP IN HINDSIGHT
Despite being an affirmative action instrument, the NEP has failed to redistribute wealth equitably in order to improve life for the middle and lower-income groups in Malaysia. Instead, a disproportionate amount of wealth is in the hands of the politically well-connected and elite high-income group.
Time to Cut a New Deal
Only when awareness has been created and the blindfolds stripped of the eyes of ordinary Malaysians can they vote for change and act to break the mould. If preceding and extant policies and principles have failed, it is imperative that the slate be swept clean in order to formulate a new approach – what we call the New Deal.
Importantly, the new tabula rasa will need to incorporate a mindset change. Specifically, Malaysians will have to shed their penchant for always seeking the easy way out. There is no quick fix for embedded economic problems. It will take time to tailor a panacea for the pervasive problems facing Malaysia today. And it will take time to engage all segments of society and enlist their wholehearted support to create and execute a New Deal based on the principle of justice for all.
Key Elements of the New Deal
The Battle is against Class Warfare, not across Racial Lines.
Under the New Deal, affirmative action must be needs-based, not race-based. Everybody must acknowledge that for the sake of national security and prosperity, we must take up arms against class warfare, not remain defensive or aggressive to preserve tight racial boundaries.
Aid must be dedicated to the lower-income groups, without racial or religious qualifications but based on needs. Out ultimate aim is to expand the middle-classes from the current 40% by reducing the sizes of the elites and the bottom rungs. Creating a larger middle class through upward mobility of the lower classes encourages racial harmony and economic stability, and effectively reduces poverty.
Ideally, with equitable and fair distribution, the top 20% of the population will control only 35%, the middle-class 40% will in turn control 40%, while the bottom 40% will share 25% of economic wealth, up from the 13.5% recorded in 2002.
I AM BREAKING HERE, while I anxiously await my colleague Elizabeth Wong bee-sily working on uploading the entire DOCUMENT on the subject, YL Chong the newshound here will now only say there are other topics elaborated on, exciting food for thought if you are a concerned Malaysian like us at PKR viz:
A “NEW” ECONOMIC POLICY:
Protecting the Malays
EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE