Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Whisperer's Take on Stimulus Package..


Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today announced in the Dewan Rakyat a stimulus package worth RM7 billion, the result of savings in the government's fuel subsidy brought on by plummeting world crude prices.
This is how the money will be spent:

» RM1.2 billion to build 25,000 units of low-and medium-cost houses

» RM500 million to upgrade, repair and maintain police stations, living quarters, army camps and quarters

» RM600 million on minor projects under the public and basic infrastructure project maintenance programme. These include maintaining village roads, building community halls and small bridges. This would help small-time contractors address the problem of shortage of construction projects

» RM500 million to repair and maintain public facilities such as roads, schools and hospitals

» RM500 million to build and upgrade roads in rural areas, villages and agriculture roads, including in Sabah and Sarawak

» RM200 million to government-aided religious schools, mission schools, Chinese and Tamil schools (shared equally)

» RM300 million to start a fund to run skills training programmes, with focus on tourism, health, construction and business process outsourcing sectors.

» RM500 million to bolster the public transport system (LRT, Komuter and city bus systems)

» RM1.5 billion to set up an Investment Fund to attract more private sector investments in strategic sectors, like solar panels, aerospace industry, and aeroplane components

» RM400 million to move the High Speed Broadband Project

» RM200 million to fund programmes by private training institutions, with participation of all races

» RM100 million for youth programmes at various levels and involving all races

» RM200 million to revive abandoned housing projects in strategic areas

» RM100 million to increase number of business premises in selected small towns

» RM200 million on early educational programmes for children aged one to six years.

- Extracted from The Sun

This stimulus package interest me. I am not going to talk about the other stimulus packages. An optional reduction of up to 3% in Employee Provident Fund by employees is like putting our money into our hands. May sound a lot in total but to individual, it's negligible with this high inflation. Only can help ease our burden a wee bit. RM4.8B over 2 years plus if every contributor opt for it. Why not just dismantle the whole EPF thingy and give us back all our money? I am willing to forgo this year interest. What say you people? There is no way they can liquidate this EPF thing. They just don't have the money to pay us back at one go even if we all collectively forgo this year interest. Wanna bet? Again, the bottom line is that we do not want them to manage our money anymore for as long as there is no transparency or accountability. Period.

Higher car loans ceiling for certain categories of government servant is like extending them credit for luxury. Imagine car loan. Not even a necessity. What type of attitude is this? Nonetheless, extension of housing loan does helps to ease some burden.
Abolishing and reduction of certain duties and taxes on fertilisers and building materials can only benefit certain industries but in no way it can benefit the people. This move is not going to address our inflation woes. Prices remained high despite the fall in world crude prices and the gradual reduction in our local oil price. Is the people still enjoying oil subsidy?
But what really raise my suspicion is the RM7B package. Study the detailed package breakdown above. Who is going to benefit from all these? Would all contracts given out be fairly valued? Money politics involve here? Contracts for votes? That seems to be the purpose of this whole thing. The rest are just distraction that doesn't cost much.
I rest my case.

3 comments:

peng said...

I would say that the RM7billion package is to stimulate their own pockets.
As usual, it will be lip service only. We don't know how the money is going to be distributed. And we can expect inflated quotations from the contractors, with a huge portion going into some pockets. Of poor quality work that will result in leaking roofs, collapsing ceilings and what have you!
The usual spin la...
That's why I am not moved!

TheWhisperer said...

Peng,

I did try to give him the benefit of doubt. But it is so damn difficult after studying the stimulus package. Sure smells like rotten fish.

First we contribute less to EPF and spend our own money. Then there is this car loan heightening which encourage the chosen group of people to enjoy an unnecessary luxury.

What irate me is their spending.. again subjected to irregularities through the pretense of improving amnesties for the people.

Eventually money gone without any sign of markedly improvement.

Worse is they still think that they can fool the people with their outdated practice.

MKH!!

Anonymous said...

Bet half or more of that sum will be siphoned off to offset this expensive UMNO elections.
Rakyat will be left with substandard buildings, roads and equipments! angela ooi