Why no allocation to tackle climate change in Budget despite having dedicated ministry? Khairy asks

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin is pictured at Parliament October 7, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin is pictured at Parliament October 7, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Umno MP Khairy Jamaluddin has chided Pakatan Harapan (PH) today for not addressing climate change in Budget 2020, despite dedicating a ministry to the global emergency.

In his speech debating next year’s national budget in Parliament today, the shadow finance minister called the decision an “abject silence” over the worrying problem, even as the world is rallying to raise awareness of it.

“In September, the entire whole was shaken over climate strike. There was not even a word from the Pakatan Harapan government on climate change,” he said.

Khairy said even the mention of electric buses in the Budget seemed to be an afterthought, considering there was no mention of among others cleaning up the ocean and conserving coral reefs.

“So I am worried, when we see teenagers worldwide protesting in September, raising the climate change issue at the United Nations and others.

“However, in the speech from the government that is apparently future-proof, and with what’s now being referred to as the climate change ministry — there was no ‘climate change’ word previously, not even one word was mentioned about climate change,” Khairy added.

He was referring to the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change headed by Yeo Bee Yin.

In his speech, Khairy also criticised the lowering the threshold on high rise property prices in urban areas for foreign ownership from RM1 million to RM600,000 next year, in a bid to address supply overhang of condominiums and apartments amounting to RM3.8 billion.

He expressed worry over the decision, labelling the move as a “moral hazard”, and one which purely profits only developers.

“Moral hazard is when the developer is being told; it’s alright. If there is an overhang again, the government will step in and we will provide exemptions to foreigners to buy condominium units up to RM600,000.

“RM600,000 is reasonable value. Which can be afforded by Malaysians. However, because there is an overhang, we don’t want to force the developer to lower the price, but we step in, and we allow it, so that they can sell to foreigners.

“This is a property developer policy,” he said.

He also claimed that investors are spooked by the transition from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, leading to a fall of private investments by 1.9 per cent in the first half of this year alone, which he labelled as “a worst indicator”.

“When [private investments] drop, it means businesses are not investing to buy new machineries, and I hope that perhaps from this Budget, there will be some recovery,” he said.

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