YOURSAY | The elephant in the Budget 2021 room


7 Nov 2020, 12:38 am

Updated a year ago


YOURSAY | ‘Civil servants’ emoluments are projected to increase to RM84.5 billion.’

We can quarrel on other issues, but let's unite for Budget 2021 – Zafrul

Govt revives Jasa propaganda unit with RM85.5m budget

StrainingGnats, SwallowCamels: “Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz also gave several examples of how the people could benefit from Budget 2021, giving the illustrative examples of ‘Puan Aisyah’, ‘Encik Kevin’ and ‘Encik Vijay’.”

With respect, Encik Zafrul, who is "Encik Kevin"? Kevin what? The possibilities are endless! Kevin Rudd? Kevin Bacon? Kevin Costner? Illustrative of what?

But if your illustrative examples are intended to solicit unity, then there must also be substance to substantiate this solicitation for unity.

If, however, Budget 2021 is intended to shore up unity "to fight" the pandemic but the distribution of benefits from tax revenues and our national coffers, meaning Malaysia’s resources, as in national resources and not largely ethnocentric, you are asking for one thing and then undermining what you are asking. What is that?

Can one fight the pandemic with all of one's might and also disagree with your Budget? Are you not disingenuous, to say the least?

For illustrative purposes, if a household consists of a married couple who both happen to draw a steady income from the Malaysian people, their benefit is RM600 x 2 = RM1,200. If they happen to have two others in their household, like their children who also work in our civil service, then their benefit is RM600 x 4 = RM2,400.

Further, if that household consists of two more who happen to be retirees, then their combined benefit is RM600 x 4 + RM300 x 2 = RM3,000.

Compare that to those households who are not in a position to draw steady streams of income from the coffers of the Malaysian people via the government? Is there a sense that, when you ask for unity, you are really saying "don't ask questions" and "just say yes"?

It is impossible to "maintain the people and country's well-being" without maintaining all the people's welfare.

Just A Malaysian: Expansionary budget during a pandemic helps to sustain the economy and the poor. But to continue to borrow and borrow to do so is suicidal.

We borrowed during good times, we borrow during not-so-good times, we borrow and borrow all the time until our debt is so high. We are going ala Turkey where the currency devalued by 50% and then the poor and everyone else suffer.

Our financial situation is not sustainable. We keep on kicking the can down the road hoping someone in the future would clean it up.

WhiteHare7559: What the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government did not highlight is that 80% of Budget 2021 are recurring annual expenses, which is mainly salaries and pensions for the entire civil service. It is the remaining 20% that they get to play with.

Unfortunately, they try to impress the public by announcing a small handout here, another discount there. But this is not what the Budget is supposed to be. It is about reviving the economy and allocating funds based on sound policies.

There is not much that can be done with the remaining 20%. Malaysia's economy is not great. So, the whole Budget speech ends up becoming a PR (public relation) exercise to impress the ordinary layperson who does not understand how government works.

Paul A: Civil servants’ emoluments will increase to RM84.5 billion. When every other sector is suffering, taking a pay cut and reducing costs, this so-called ‘Prihatin’ Budget gives more money to themselves (civil servants) at the expense of the people.

These monies are derived from various sectors by way of direct and indirect taxes to pay hefty amounts for emoluments. Shouldn't they be tightening their belts too?

Mano: Indeed, why should government servants receive aid now when the rest of the country is reeling in unemployment, pay cuts, etc?

On the contrary, there should be a pay cut for those earning above the basic level and the percentage of pay cut should be according to one’s income. The cuts should be for salaries as well as perks and allowances.

After all, civil servants get their salaries courtesy of the taxes from hard-working rakyat.

As for the ministers, each of them has an MP salary and perks, plus minister salary and perks. And each MP who is a GLC (government-linked company) head has an MP salary and perks, plus GLC salary and perks.

And then for their entire retired life, we have to pay them pension. When they die, we have to pay pension for their wife/wives? And possibly, even multiple pensions.

Should not it be decided they should only get one salary, and upon retirement, only the highest pension. In the first place, why even pension for these fellows who chose to serve?

MS: If the DAP and PKR vote for this Budget, they will receive one less vote ... from me.

Here we have an illegitimate government forcing citizens to fend for themselves in these hard times by dipping into their EPF (Employees Provident Fund) savings ... and then callously allocating RM85 million to itself to lie, twist and distort facts (by reviving the Special Affairs Department, Jasa, propaganda unit) so as to stay in power.

Jetson: Talk about thinking of the people's welfare. They are thrown crumbs, while the politicians take RM85 million just to improve their image.

And Zafrul called on the opposition to unite for the Budget? They must be fools to allow such an allocation and at the same time, give him and his buddies ammunition to take them down.

Whatever the Budget, if the wastages and corruption are not brought under control, the people will only enjoy a fraction of the monies.

Secondly, how are the people assured that the Budget will reach the needy when we have a leader in office who is more concerned about protecting his own agenda.

Rostrataram: Now Zafrul appeals for unity, but forgets that we are in this deep mess because he and his pals were greedy power-grabbing sneaks who forgot that we needed unity from the government we elected into power then.

Instead, this backdoor government lead us into an election in Sabah and thereby precipitating the Covid-19 crisis we are in now. Then, they have the cheek to ask for unity.

Odysseus: If you want support for your ‘unity’ Budget, you need to show sincerity by giving equal allocation to all MPs for their constituencies, all races and religions. Then, everyone will say it’s a fair Budget and will support it.

MokhtarAhmad: RM85 million for Jasa should instead be channelled to those economically affected by Covid. Jasa is a mere political outfit which is not needed in this time of economic uncertainty.

Not Bitten Twice: Here’s the definition of "propaganda" as in dictionary - dissemination of lies, rumours or half-truths to injure competitor or influence public opinion.

This is what the rakyat's money is used for. While the rakyat struggle and grapple with the current hardship, the government used our money to spread lies or half-truths to cheat us further.

The recent news of the man recently sacked and then deliberately walk into the path of an oncoming truck gives us an idea how desperately poor and depressed some people are. Wake up, Pakatan Harapan. This allocation for Jasa must not be supported.

Geram: Jasa is a department which teaches the Malays (as well as through Biro Tatanegara) to hate the Chinese, Indians and others in Sabah and Sarawak. Correct me if I am wrong.

Gerard Lourdesamy: How to unite on the Budget when RM85 million is allocated for a racist propaganda unit of the backdoor government that has zero benefit to the country, national unity and mutual respect and trust?

Well Thats Fantastic: Spending taxpayers’ money to twist and lie in an attempt to pull the wool over everyone's eyes to bad governing. How is this remotely okay?

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