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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Budget 2017: when the opposition missed the forest for the trees


Salleh Said Keruak

Instead of trying to give excuses as to why the walkout and demonstration yesterday was justified, the opposition should instead focus on details of the budget to debate. Actually, even if you want to oppose parts of Budget 2017 just for the sake of opposing, which is what the opposition always seems to do, there are many good parts in that budget and we must commend Najib for his work and effort at achieving a fair and balance budget.

For example, the fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP is better than that of the US, UK and Japan. Yet the opposition says the budget is not realistic and that Malaysia does not have the money to make Budget 2017 happen. 

Malaysia’s targeted GDP growth of 4%-5% is better than UK, US, Germany and Japan. And this is going to be achieved against the backdrop of a drop of about RM30 billion in oil revenue. And the opposition is making it appear like the drop in oil revenue is the fault of the Prime Minister.

The opposition walkout was planned to make Budget 2017 look bad. But have you noticed that they avoid talking about the details of the budget? They just generalise and talk as if the budget is absolutely hopeless and does not even need discussing. The opposition is doing a great disservice to the voters who sent them to Parliament. And the protest was planned and not spontaneous like the opposition claims because they came prepared with placards.

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