KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today dismissed Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Budget 2020 as one which favours wealthy lobbyists and the rich, while disregarding those in need.
In debating the national Budget in Parliament today, the Bera MP labelled the Budget as a failed one, and cautioned that any ambitious initiatives which were announced last Friday, may be done in a hurry, without much thought.
“Speaker, the Opposition believes that the announcements and initiatives announced, is no more than mere sweet words, merely beautiful on the outside.
“What’s more important, we can summarise that this Budget 2020 is a capitalist Budget which sidelines the rural residents, the urban poor. The rich are prioritised, the poor and the needy are not cared for as much,” Ismail said in his speech.
As an example, he lamented the government’s move in lowering the threshold on high rise property prices in urban areas for foreign ownership from RM1,00,000 to RM600,000 next year, in a bid to address supply overhang of condominiums and apartments amounting to RM3.8 billion.
Ismail also frowned upon the announcement of RM1 billion in customised packaged incentives to attract investment from Fortune 500 and global unicorn firms in high technologies, manufacturing, creative and new economic sectors, saying that this was a move to appease capitalists and big investors.
He also expressed shock on the income tax exemption of 100 per cent of statutory income or Investment Tax Allowance of 100 per cent, which is to be set off against 70 per cent for five years, for new investments in international theme park projects.
“What is sad is that there is no new policy and large scale special initiatives which are clear, for improving the lives and wellbeing of those in rural areas and those in need,” Ismail added.
The government is planning to spend RM297 billion next year, hoping to stimulate Malaysia’s economy during a global slowdown while maintaining a fiscal deficit of 3.2 per cent of the GDP.
Compared to this year’s deficit projected at 3.0 per cent, the 2020 figure is a significant 0.2 per cent higher. Opposition lawmakers and some financial institutions have latched onto this, saying the upward revision throws some red flags about the sustainability of PH’s 10-year Shared Prosperity Vision.