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Oct 21, 2010

Budget 2011: Do Malaysians Need Short-Term Popularity?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appeared to reach for the out-dated 100 story tower mega-project plan, do you think this is to lift the economy towards high-income status? His 2011 Budget confirmed the return of big Malaysia, with a row of announcements headlined in local dailies starting with the construction af a tower in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

The budget totally disappointing various stratum of Malaysians especially medium class and low class citizen like you and me, we are hoping for more fundamental reforms in terms of upgrading the nation’s productivity and economy. Among large construction projects that will kick off besides the infamous RM5 billion 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower are the RM43 billion new KL MRT project, RM26 billion KL International Financial district, RM3 billion integrated eco-resort in Karambunai, Sabah, construction of multiple new highways, and the development of the 1,084-ha Malaysian Rubber Board land in Sungai Buloh.

Under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the country also saw the construction of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, which, when completed, was the tallest buildings in the world. But the 100 story Warisan Merdeka tower could not stand as tall as 162-story Burj Khalifa Tower in United Arab Emirates. So do we have any cause to proud of? Government must stop mega projects and start stressing on economic growth and should boost investor's confidence to spend in our nation. In fact, such project never improves our standard of living.

According to the 2011 budget, a total of RM163 billion going to be spent for operational expenditure, so this means civil servants consuming almost 75% of the budget, I do not see how this Budget is rational with the prime minister’s intention to let the private sector lead the economy. This fact indirectly proves that our economy status will further plunge to the rubbish, Mega projects that draw popularity for Najib’s administration only heading for short-term interest.

We are not dreamers! Our success is not mere coincidence but the result of clear and careful planning as well as firm implementation of the government. If our government failed to plan for us and definitely we are heading towards a failed nation. Of all the tall skyscrapers, and dreams, where are the implementation of education? Our government plan to remove PMR examination that will further affect our students. May be this is to cut the cost on the papers, who knows? In fact, its not right to waste taxpayer’s money on such project.

Mega projects by PM Najib never going to create a high income economy. Is there an absolute need to have the 100 storey tower? Can he explain to the people why we build this tower? Is there a specific need? A wastage with 100 story building that cost RM5 billion, this amount of money can be better use in other sectors. “1 Malaysia" rhetoric spewing out his mouth frequently, but the people never experience the actual ‘transformation’ that he is meaning about! Definitely the poor Malaysians need long-term interest rather that short-term popularity in the 2011 budget!