I only wish to make three comments on Najib’s new RM221 billion budget, which incidentally is the biggest for Malaysia since 31 August 1957.
No 1 and the most troubling – 75% of the humongous allocation goes to operating expenditure, which means we have a bloody bloated bureaucracy. Looks like the Malaysian Civil Service is just another system for dispensing out the monthly dole, signifying our welfare state status for the last thirty years, since Ops Isi Penuh in 1981.
More worrying is there’s only a wee portion left for major infrastructural development, which leads us to comment No 2.
No 2 and I have to ask, why we are into the largest, longest and laughable nonsense again. Why are we wasting precious funds (of only 25% of budget) on more white elephants, like the RM5 billion 100-storey building?
Yet the government has a nerve to tell the public to tighten their belts, warn them of more reduction and eventual removal of subsidies, which incidentally I support but which becomes untenable to justify when we waste money on useless projects.
The PM and his ministers and advisors should snap out of their standard mentality and stop treating the country like their own houses, requiring awe-inspiring decorative pieces or attempting to keep up with the Joneses.
What the public need is a major infusion of public-function infrastructures like mass transit system (to reduce public over-dependence on petrol-thirsty motor vehicles), toll-free highways, safe bridges and walkways for the remote kampungs, safe and modern bicycle paths from urban centres to schools and public facilities (to promote health, reduce road traffic and to save on petrol), a modern system of water reserves including massive underground reservoirs (for a very arid future when water becomes more valuable than gold), schools, health facilities, etc.
No 3 – finally I couldn't but help notice that the lion’s share of the budgeted development goes to the Klang Valley region. The government must be thinking Malaysia is only Selangor and only Selangor is Malaysia, congesting the majority of its budgeted projects in Selangor (including KL).
It’s f* time it allows Selangor (& KL) to consolidate on their (many half-past six type) projects and considers instead greater regional development in, for example, Seremban, Malacca, Ipoh, the Teluk Intan-Sitiawan stretch, Penang Island, the Bukit Mertajam-Sungai Petani-Baling-Gerik region, Alor Setar, KB, Kuala Terengganu , Kuantan, Termeloh etc. I would love to see more settlements (inclusive of industries) in the beautiful green region along the East-West Highway.
Then there’s the equally beautiful KK–Kota Belud stretch, the coastal region from Sandakan-Sempurna-Tawau and all the interior regions in Sabah and the vast distances of Sarawak as well.
Finally, it should begin trimming off the excessive fat on the public service very obese body.