Monday, October 26, 2020

Budget 2021 - Disclose NOW so rakyat can give feedback - Let's practice TRUE Democracy and Transparency?

Often, the government tables the BUDGET in Parliament and then it is debated and passed in the sama session - there is little or no opportunity for the people(the RAKYAT) to effectively participate - and the people will tell the government, whether the are OK or not with the BUDGET or parts of the Budget.

Past governments have failed to make known to the public the proposed Budget, and to give time for the public to give needed feedback. Budgets are just tabled in Parliament, debated and then passed in the same session - meaning the MPs really have no time to consult the people they represent.

Traditionally, all those MPs from parties that form the government will not be a 'check and balance' - and merely support the Budget. The criticism and the highlighting of flaws in the proposed Budget comes from the Opposition MPs - who sadly, even if they agree with the proposed Budget, will vote against it - so sad.

Before the upcoming Parliamentary session, PM Muhyiddin should now make public the proposed BUDGET and get the peoples' feedback - and MPs must vote as peoples' representative (wakil Rakyat) - not simply as directed by their political parties or the party 'whips'.

The move by PM Muhyiddin and his Cabinet to put Malaysia under EMERGENCY may be linked to the fact that he has lost the confidence of the majority - or the fact that even some of the MPs supporting his government may be not agreeable to the said Budget.

Whether the BUDGET tabled is passed or not, as an indicator whether Muhyiddin still enjoys the confidence of the majority is 'dangerous' - and as such, the PM should really make sure that the 'no confidence motion' is tabled first and voted on first. 

Even after proving that he has the confidence of the majority, note that some of the MPs may elect to not simply blindly vote in support of the Budget or some Bill tabled by the government. Was the BUDGET to be tabled also prepared in consultation with the 113 MPs that support Muhyiddin - or are they all simply expected to support whatever PM tables? Did the Cabinet approve the Budget unanimously - or was it just approved by a simple majority or the majority?

MPs are the peoples' representative - they must act and vote as 'representative' - in accordance to what the majority of his/her constituents want...not simply on the basis of what he/she thinks is for the 'best interest of the people in his/her constituencies'.

MPs in Malaysia, after elections rarely meet and have consultation with the people of their constituencies - Most times, they simply 'show face' at funerals, weddings, functions, etc ...or even give 'donations' here and there > There is very little even 'reporting back' - let alone regular consultations with the people - Having MONTHLY sessions with the people at town or community halls - where the MP reports what he has done, takes questions and provide answers, consult on particular Bills easy ...but simply not done in Malaysia...WHY?

SO, disclose now the BUDGET that the government is going to table people can democratically participate.

People have been concerned about 'OVER-SPENDING' for certain areas when Malaysia simply does not have sufficient funds to do so....which results on massive debts for Malaysia. The past 2 BN Prime Ministers, speedily escalated Malaysia's Debts -- So, they spend as though we are 'RICH' as our national debts rise and rise... 

So, PEOPLE want the right to be part of this upcoming BUDGET - BERSIH says reach out to the Opposition leaders - but I say MORE THAN THAT ...reach out to the people.

Let's tighten our BELTS now 

- cut the Cabinet pay,

- set a reasonable pay limit for civil servants, and also Government owned or linked companies - set maximum monthly allowances, pays, etc 

- Abolish allocation of millions to MPs for use for the welfare and development of the constituencies > not needed at all, as there are already existing government departments, Ministries, etc that has been 'allocated monies' to do exactly this. [On the other hand, provide every MP with monies to maintain their offices/service centres and necessary staff. Maybe also RM1 per constituents per month for work in their constituencies/]

- Review PENSIONS - fix a maximum for former MPs, former Ministers, former Public Officers > maybe no more that RM7,000 per month, remember millions others do not even get monthly pensions]

- Increase WELFARE - monthly payments for the unemployed(at least RM1,000 per month), for the POOR elderly, disabled, etc(at least RM1,000 per month), FREE healthcare, FREE Education in schools, etc 

- REVISE pay of public officers > In total, no one shall be taking home more than RM16,000 per month - being the current allowance of MPs, certainly no more than RM23,000. If a public officer is appointed as Director of a GLC, that Director allowances,etc shall flow back to the government - not to the said public officer themselves.

- MONIES should be spend to keep the PRICES down FOR food, necessities, even electricity and telecommunication down as many are suffering loss of regular income.


Needed: A budget for uncertain times

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 25): Barring unforeseen circumstances, Budget 2021 will be unveiled on Nov 6. This will be a budget under a new government, under the 12th Malaysia Plan and during a global health crisis wrought by Covid-19. 

The year has thus far seen the rollout of four economic stimulus packages — the first on Feb 27, the Prihatin Stimulus Package on March 27, Penjana on June 5 and Kita Prihatin on Sept 25 — collectively amounting to a mammoth RM315 billion. 

Will the government introduce further stimulus packages to address the immediate problems stemming from Covid-19 or a longer-term plan to spur the country’s economic growth? 

Everybody is expecting an expansionary budget with the aim of addressing immediate and medium-term issues, which will be in line with the finance minister’s earlier indication that the budget will have four broad themes — caring for the people, steering the economy, sustainable living, and enhancing public service delivery.

As for the fiscal deficit, it is now a given that it will widen. With government revenue falling this year and direct fiscal injection to revive the economy, the deficit is projected to widen to 6% of GDP in 2020. Many have added that the widening gap is justified since the pandemic’s impact on fiscal sustainability is deeply felt by governments around the world. No nation is spared. 

However, there needs to be plans on how the government can boost its revenue in the years ahead. 

The government has indicated that it will consider every avenue for an increase in revenue base, which has been forecasted to grow 8.8% year on year to RM248 billion in 2021 from RM228 billion in the current year. But, most tax consultants believe that such a move to impose higher taxes or taxing income or gains which are currently non-taxable, is unlikely to happen in the near term. 

What else should we expect from Budget 2021? - Edge Markets, 25/10/2020

Bersih urges Muhyiddin to reach out to opposition over Budget 2021 cooperation

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should reach out to the opposition lawmakers in the form of a Confidence and Supply Agreement (CSA), if the Prime Minister is convinced that the government would loose support from its backbenchers on the 2021 Budget to be tabled in next month's Dewan Rakyat sitting.

The proposal by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) steering committee for the CSA comes amid speculation that the Perikatan Nasional government is mulling over a state of emergency declaration, which would also entail proroguing Parliament.

Muhyiddin, said Bersih 2.0, should reach out to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before Budget day for the CSA. The 2021 Budget is scheduled to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 6.

"If Muhyiddin is convinced that he will lose support from some of the government members of Parliament on the budget, then he must demonstrate the maturity and courage to reach out to the official opposition before Budget Day," Bersih 2.0 steering committee said in a statement today.

Bersih 2.0 added that such a move may necessitate certain reforms including parliamentary reform, election reforms and other institutional reforms and equal funding for all MPs as well as opposition's input to make the budget more inclusive and prudent and to prevent similar political impasse from happening again in future.

It said that a Muhyiddin-PH combine would have 204 votes at the maximum from the CSA and could also afford defections.

The coalition added that minority governments in countries from the United Kingdom, Denmark and Canada had seen their annual budgets passed with the backing of their respective nation's opposition parties.

"As Malaysia's permanent coalition model is disintegrating, the CSA is a new norm that present administration should try to embrace.

"If Muhyiddin insists on not having a CSA bill with the official opposition, then the Pagoh MP must resign if his budget is defeated.

"Malaysia will not have to go for a snap poll or risk not having a budget, as the House (Dewan Rakyat) can pass a vote of confidence into another MP to form a new government and to continue with the budget.

"Even if the prime minister leads only a minority government, he or she can humbly seek a CSA with opposition parties," read the statement.

Bersih 2.0 also said an emergency proclamation is a self-coup to subvert parliamentary democracy.

"It is unconstitutional because Article 150 (of the Federal Constitution) only permits it for 'imminent danger that threatens the security, or the economic life, or public order'.

"Government survival is not a permissible ground. It is irresponsible, counter-productive and in fact '(threatening) economic life' by causing panic and crash in markets, chasing away investments, inviting international sanctions, hence, driving up unemployment and hurting ordinary people's struggle to put food on the table and pay bills."

Bersih 2.0 added that such a move would also magnify the political crisis by dragging Istana Negara into partisan conflicts, as the Proclamation has to be issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. - New Straits Times, 25/10/2020

With Budget due, law expert says no way for Muhyiddin to dodge confidence test

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s majority has never been officially established but is placed at 113 lawmakers from the 222-seat Parliament or just over the absolute minimum of 112 needed for a simple majority. — Bernama pic
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s majority has never been officially established but is placed at 113 lawmakers from the 222-seat Parliament or just over the absolute minimum of 112 needed for a simple majority. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Opponents could test Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s support in Parliament next month even if their motions of no-confidence are blocked, according to a constitutional expert

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia research fellow for law and constitution Dr Muhammad Fathi Yusof told Sinar Harian this was because the federal Budget for 2021 was due to be tabled in the November-December meeting.

“If the Budget is not passed, it proves that Muhyiddin has lost the support of the majority,” he was quoted as saying.

By parliamentary convention, the failure to secure lawmakers’ approval for the national budget is considered a successful vote of no-confidence against the party in power, which is currently Perikatan Nasional (PN).

While a motion of no-confidence was submitted to Parliament before Muhyiddin’s government could remove the Speaker who accepted it, the motion has effectively been buried by listing it after all government matters.

This week, senior Umno lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah publicised a letter he wrote to Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun urging the latter to promote the motion against Muhyiddin in Parliament’s agenda to allow this to take place.

Azhar said he could not do so without the agreement of the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Parliament and Law.

By Muhammad Fathi’s reading, however, blocking the Budget was a sufficient proxy to the motion.

“According to Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, when a prime minister loses the confidence of the majority, there are two options available to Muhyiddin, which is to seek the dissolution of Parliament or to resign,” he was quoted as saying.

By the convention of collective ministerial responsibility, all members of Muhyiddin’s Cabinet would also be deemed to have resigned the moment his resignation is accepted by the Yang diPertuan Agong.

On Tuesday, Umno declared that it was reviewing its continued support for PN unless the party received improved terms.

Umno is not a member of PN but offers support on matters of supply and confidence to the coalition government and several of its leaders are also members of Muhyiddin’s Cabinet.

Muhyiddin’s majority has never been officially established but is placed at 113 lawmakers from the 222-seat Parliament or just over the absolute minimum of 112 needed for a simple majority.

Parliament will sit from November 2 to December 15 for its next meeting. - Malay Mail, 16/10/2020



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