Malaysians are restless for change. The question is whether this will be a change to win the future with integrity in leadership or change back to the past where we see our children’s future stolen as ours were stolen by corruption for the past 50 years.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has expressed confidence in winning the next general elections by sweeping all states in leading BN to 14-0 victory. If he and BN succeeds, Malaysia would suffer the 5Ds of Deficits, Debts, Deceits, Dictatorship and brain Drain.
BN is now in a state of arrogant hubris following the success of its cash handouts and using money politics to buy popularity. Penang PR accepts the possibility that BN can snatch power by hook or by crook at the 13th general elections.
However, the implications of a 14-0 victory would have serious repercussions for Malaysia, especially worsening corruption leading to higher deficits and debts that can only be brought about by greater repression and dictatorial powers. Police brutality unleashed against peaceful demonstrators during the Bersih rallies have resulted in a loss of public confidence in the independence of the police, who are perceived as willing political tools of a dictatorial BN government.
Presently corruption has deteriorated with Transparency International ranking Malaysia at No. 60 in the Corruption Perception Index compared to No. 37 in 2003. Instead of giving out loans to farmers who breed cows, the family of a Minister who has never reared a cow is given RM 250 million loan, which is misused to buy condos. We can see some of the worst excesses in Sarawak where wealth controlled by families of state government leaders are openly flaunted.
Clearly rampant corruption can only be permitted by BN’s deceit and dictatorial powers which will lead to an even larger brain drain. Since Merdeka in 1957, more than 2 million Malaysians have left the country. The recent change in Australian work visa policy that allows Australian graduates to stay back in Australia for 2-4 years will only accelerate the brain drain.
BN’s recent RM13.8 billion 2012 supplementary budget will add on to the projected RM 45.9 billion projected deficit in the 2012 budget, resulting in a total deficit of RM 59.7 billion, the highest in Malaysian history. This would easily put Malaysia’s deficit as a % of GDP at more than 6% in 2012, which is significantly higher than the initially projected 4.7%.
The fiscal irresponsibility of the BN government is proven by the fact that the additional funds will be spent on the extra RM 1.5 million allocation to BN MPs from this supplementary budget while non-BN MPs including those from Pakatan Rakyat will be given nothing. The strategy of going to the taxpayers to fund more of its irresponsible spending habits is not something new for the BN. BN requested for an additional RM 13.2 billion in June 2011 and an additional RM 10.3 billion in March 2012 for the 2011 Budget.
As of 31 March 2012, government debt stood at RM 470 billion. If we include the expected deficit from the 2012 budget, our government debt will easily increase to beyond RM500b by the end of the 2012. And this does not even include the worrying increase in the contingent liabilities that are not officially on the books amounting to nearly RM 110 billion. If contingent liabilities are added to official government debt, our debt would increase to more than RM 600 billion!
The last time this country ran a budget surplus was in 1997 when Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime Prime Minister. Since 1997, we have experienced 15 consecutive years of budget deficits, which is why we want Anwar as the new Prime Minister to turnaround the deficit budget into a surplus budget. Our government debt has increased by 5 times from RM 89 billion in 1997 to RM 470 billion as at March 2012 as compared to the increase in GDP by only threefold.
In contrast to BN’s dismal financial performance, PR state governments have recorded surplus after surplus every year and even managed to reduce our debts sustainably. Penang reduced our debts by a whopping 95% or RM600 million from RM630 million at 8 March 2008 to only RM30 million by end 2011. All this was achieved not by BN’s deceit but by straight talking of running a clean government based on CAT governance of competency, accountability and transparency. In comparison in 2011, Sarawak has a debt exposure of at least RM4.3 billion comprising of total direct and indirect debt to the federal government and private sector..
Clearly the system of open competitive tenders, disclosure of government contracts with the private sector, public declaration of assets certified by an international accounting firm and the passing of a Freedom of Information Act works in combating corruption. PR states like Penang have proven that a clean government can perform better than a corrupt government.
LIM GUAN ENG
—– Mandarin Version —-
截至2012年3月31日，政府债务已达4700亿令吉。如果我们把2012年的预算赤字包括在外，政府的债务将在2012年底达5000亿令吉。这还未包括不要账目内的、让人担忧的或有负债（ contingent liabilities ）约1100亿令吉。如果把这些或有负债加入政府债务，我们的债务将会增加至6000亿令吉。