LETTER | Contrary to propaganda, the B75 Indian poor are not excited about Pakatan Harapan's Budget 2020 which again appears to be an almost wholly Malay-centric affair in excluding the B75 from sharing the "Malaysia Baru" prosperity.
In the 2020 RM297 billion budget (as in Budget 2019), the B75 are yet again shortchanged by RM300 Million based on the RM400 million per year that was promised in "Promise No 12" of the Harapan Indian manifesto.
From the RM100 million allocated, RM80 million appears to be for the "political expenditure" of Mitra i.e. 80 percent of it is to be programme-based, meaning more questionable kursus!
Why not this 80 percent be used to set lasting solutions for the Indians modelled along the lines of Felda and Felcra with durian, palm oil and cow and goat farming schemes as per Harapan's "Promise No 17"?
This could have easily created 10,000 self-employed entrepreneurial opportunities per year for the said B75.
But to the direct contrary, the Budget 2020 has a RM20 million Tabung Haji Bailout, RM10.9 billion for rural development, RM8 billion for the bumiputera agenda, RM4.9 billion for agriculture and agro-based industries, RM2 billion for Mara student loans, another RM1.3 billion for Mara, RM1.3 billion for bumiputera government contract jobs, RM1.3 billion for Islamic Development Department (under the PM’s Dept), RM810 million for Felda, RM738 million for Felcra, RM500 million for female bumiputera entrepreneurs and another RM445 million for bumiputera entrepreneurs as a whole.
Based on previous years, even the remaining RM20 million allocated for Indian entrepreneur loans, 90 percent of it does not flow down to the targeted B75 but reverts back to the Treasury.
This is especially so when even the auditor-general has never audited the same just like our 2008 records of zero Tamil school allocations flowing down.
It is doom and gloom for the B75 Indian poor until and unless a Malay Abraham Lincoln comes about as in the Western civil societies or some mitigation with the creation of seven Indian-majority parliamentary seats and 14 state assembly seats within them.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.