Bleak picture illustrated over Opposition budget proposal

 |Aug 20, 2017
MO file pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: An Umno Youth Executive Committee member has painted a bleak picture of the country in terms of financial capacity if the opposition Pakatan Harapan pact is to come to power after the next general election.

Shahril Sufian Hamdan illustrated three possible scenarios with reference to the alternative budget that the pact had proposed in October last year when he spoke to Bernama following a debate with Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, chief of the youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi), one of the four partners of Pakatan Harapan.

He said the budget proposals will not be implemented at all, or the proposals will be implemented with the abolition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) but with the raising of other taxes, or the proposals will be implemented with the abolition of the GST by chalking up a huge debt of RM150 billion.

The budget proposed by Pakatan Harapan, which calls for the abolition of toll collection, raising the minimum wage and abolishing education fees and the National Higher Education Fund Corporation loans, will cost the government an additional expenditure of RM110 billion, he said.

“RM110 billion is an additional expenditure of 40 per cent for the government. The proposal also calls for the removal of the RM42 billion now collected by the government through the GST. This means there is a need to find RM152 billion to fill the vacuum.

“As such, we can only conclude that one of the three scenarios mentioned above will take place, and the people will be fooled in the end,” he said.

The debate, which discussed the government and opposition economic agenda in the run-up to the 14th General Election, was an event during the 11th Summit of Malaysian Student Leaders organised by the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students.

Shahril Sufian, who holds a degree in politics, philosophy and economy from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, said all the three possible scenarios would only be detrimental to the people.

“It will be a case of either the people being fooled or the government having to put up with a huge debt. When the government has to bear a huge debt, there will be spillovers onto the national economy and they will not be positive.

“The opposition can appeal to the people by selling this idea, but when it comes to counting the ringgit and sen can their budget become a reality? Definitely not. Their mathematics also is not right. How can we trust their idea when they do not go into the details of the costs involved? he said. – Bernama