Huge disparity in budget allocation for races.
DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng today questioned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s sincerity in the well-being of all races in Malaysia after he allocated a mere RM345 million for the Indian and Chinese communities in Budget 2022, which amounted to less than 3 per cent of the RM11.6 billion allocation for Bumiputera and Orang Asli.
“Ismail Sabri is not being honest and sincere in his assurances that the government will not marginalise efforts to empower urban and rural Chinese communities in the tabling of the forthcoming Budget 2023. Such assurances are easily dismissed as empty rhetoric for the forthcoming general election when during the first Budget 2022 presented as prime minister, both the Chinese and Indian communities were obviously discriminated against in terms of Budget allocations.
“In Budget 2022, RM11.4 billion was allocated for the Bumiputera community as compared to a mere RM345 million for the Chinese and Indian communities put together. If we include the RM274 million allocated to the Orang Asli community in the Bumiputera column, the RM345 million for the Chinese and Indian community is less than 3 percent of the RM 11,674 million for the Bumi and Orang Asli community,” Lim said in a statement this morning.
The Bagan MP said he does not oppose the allocation for Bumiputera and Orang Asli, but asked Ismail Sabri why the Indian and Chinese communities was sidelined at a time the latter was promoting his Keluarga Malaysia rhetoric.
He said the Keluarga Malaysia concept called on the people to put aside their differences and mobilise their energy in facing challenges as a family unit, which transcended the boundaries of religion, race and ethnicity, and which was important in the efforts to help the country to recover from the pandemic.
Lim, however, pointed out that political observers and analysts have said that Ismail Sabri’s Malay Muslim government had a particular emphasis on race and religion. He questioned the fairness of the upcoming budget when it’s been proven in the past that it would most likely be race-specific and not based on needs.
“It is regrettable that Ismail Sabri talks about the different cultures in the country, strengthening the relationship among the races, and allowing them to learn the philosophies of the cultures only during the election season.
“I cannot recall him encouraging the hosting of Chinese cultural programmes before,” said Lim.
“All we can remember is Ismail’s failed Digital Mall project in Kuala Lumpur exclusively for Bumi entrepreneurs.”
The highly anticipated Budget 2023 was initially scheduled to be tabled on October 28 but was brought forward by three weeks to October 7 after Ismail Sabri exercised his authority as prime minister under Rule 11(2) of the Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order.
No reason was given for the date revision.
Ismail Sabri on August 30 said he might table the Budget 2023 in Parliament this October 7 himself, when the task has conventionally been carried out by the finance minister.
Political analysts have suggested that the reason Ismail Sabri pushed for the tabling of Budget 2023 earlier is that he will be dissolving Parliament the following day amid pressure from leadership within his party, Umno. – MMO