Did Najib 'lie' or 'mislead' people in his Budget speech? When things mentioned in the Budget speech is not present in the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report, one wonders? Or did Guan Eng get it wrong?
Lim claimed that RM10 billion that was supposedly allocated to "ease the costs of living" including toll charges, was not present in the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report that was tabled in Parliament on the same day.“When Parliament adopts and approves the 2017 Budget, it is not the budget speech that is adopted but the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report and other documents or bills, because the budget speech merely summarises the many details that makes up the various expenditures […]
From Najib's speech
115. To ease the cost of living, the Government will provide nearly RM10 billion for subsidy allocation. This allocation comprises of fuel subsidies including cooking gas; toll charges; and public transport. - Najib's Budget 2017 full text in English (Astro Awani)
This may be an issue to follow - There must be transparency in how the government intends to spend money - where will the money be really spent. Now, in Malaysia, there is growing concern that allocated funds may 'leak' and will end up not being spent for the intended purposes...We must demand our governments to also make available detailed Accounts as to how the money was spent. This accounts must cover also the spending of government owned companies and GLCs as well..
Are we spending RM100,000 for something that really cost RM25,000? Are we wasting government (or Malaysian peoples') money? Are we spending wisely for the best interest of the country...? Malaysians need to vigilant in monitoring our governments - Federal and State governments...
Najib’s budget speech is a summary, not bill, Guan Eng tells minister
This comes after Works Minister Works Minister Fadillah Yusof chided that Lim would have known where the money for compensating highway concessionaires was coming from, had he stayed and listened to the entirety of Najib’s speech.
Lim claimed that RM10 billion that was supposedly allocated to "ease the costs of living" including toll charges, was not present in the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report that was tabled in Parliament on the same day.
“When Parliament adopts and approves the 2017 Budget, it is not the budget speech that is adopted but the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report and other documents or bills, because the budget speech merely summarises the many details that makes up the various expenditures […]
“How then are we to know that the so-called RM10 billion subsidy also includes subsidy for compensation for toll hikes, when nothing is mentioned in the 2017 Federal Expenditure Estimates Report produced by the Finance Ministry?” he said in a statement today.
Lim, who is also the DAP secretary-general and Penang chief minister, said this was why the Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim had tried to refer Najib to the Rights and Privileges Committee for misleading the Parliament, but Sim was told to leave the House instead.
Lim recounted some of the examples of alleged mismatches between the budget speech and the expenditure estimate given by Sim, such as Najib’s claim that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission would provide RM1 billion to enhance broadband speed and coverage.
However, "Projek Jalur Lebar" was only allocated RM57.5 million in the expenditure estimate.
Meanwhile, Lim again raised the question on why the North-South Highway was still not toll-free, but instead had its concession period extended from 2018 to 2038.
He said the highway was built in 1989 and completed in 1994 at a cost of RM5.9 billion, but thus far had raked in RM36.39 billion from toll collection and RM917.1 in government compensation in 2015.
“In other words, a total of RM37.3 billion collected from Malaysians using the highway and the federal government, is more than six times higher than the initial construction cost of RM5.9 billion. “Even if we took into account maintenance and widening of roads, such extra costs cannot exceed the RM36.9 billion collected from the public. For that reason, toll collection should be abolished.
“In the interests of full accounting, what are the costs of maintenance of the North-South Highway yearly that is not inflated by Plus but subject to due diligence and accounting scrutiny?
"Since Plus has recouped its capital expenditure why have the toll rates not gone down to reflect only maintenance costs?” he asked.