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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What I wish to have in Malaysian Budget 2008 ... and why?

Come the month of April, many Malaysians (exp the middle income group) feel the burden of income tax payment obligation. Though in many cases, they are experiencing monthly deductions, this is the month when they need to document their past year earnings and settle any balances. It is really a pain to allow your hard earned money to go out of your pocket without knowing how your money will be used. Of course the govt will say that the money will be used for development, so do I believe. Besides the personal income tax, the govt is also getting a lot of other incomes (custom tax, corporate tax, service tax, etc...) which amounts to tens or hundred of billions per year. At the same time, we also hear from our opposition party that the govt is also wasting a lot of our tax monies. Only god knows how my monies are spent!

By the way, countries like Andorra, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Burundi, Kuwait, Monaco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Uruguay does not have personal income tax. How lucky they are! So can we dream that one day Malaysia will abolish personal income tax? It sounds like it will be never. But, it is wrong to request our elected govt to consider giving us more rebates and allowable deductions? With increasing living cost, many of us would be happy if the govt can share with the public the country's strong financial footing and feel good factors it has been experiencing.

I think it is for the benefit of Malaysians if Malaysian bloggers community propose some wish list for Budget 2008 and forward it to the govt for considerations. This is also a form of public consultation, coined in the 2004 Barisan Nasional manifesto. In extension to Azmi Atan's wish list published in May 1 2007 Online New Straits Times, I am proposing mine.

Azmi Atan Budget 2008 Wish List (a summary):
1. Rebate for sibling expenditure; provided there is a ceiling amount and with proof of expenditure. (Mr. K. Partiban, our new Ijok representative will be happy also)

2. Rebate for wife's medical expenses

3. Increasing rebate for insurance premiums and EPF contributions (currently RM 6000)

4. Rebate for broadband internet use

Note: I think Azmi Atan confuse between rebate and allowable deductions, the 3rd item should be allowable deduction and not rebate. I would be happy if it is a rebate.

HundredOne blog Budget 2008 wish list:
1. Rebate for NGV equipment fitting to our cars - Help reduce govt fuel subsidy and promote greener environment

2. Allowance for investments - Promote investment culture among Malaysians which the govt can also benefit (thru other form of taxes that currently exist)

3. Allowance for first house purchased - The basic need of everyone and also to reduce rakyat's burden with increasing house prices and interest charged to finance their house.

4. Allowance for public transport usage - An alternative way to reduce traffic jams in big cities. Moreover charging city entry fees, building more highways and roads are not holistic way to solve the problem. The allowance can be given to those holding weekly or monthly passes. At the same time public transportation must be further improved to encourage more usage, especially by building faster LRTs.

That's all for budget 2008 wish list.


kok said...

The nation is sick with cancer tumors all over and a decision has to be made, and it has to be made now to operate. This is not like composing a symphony where you need to have inspiration before you can start to write the first bar.

Time and again, Pak Lah despite his rhetoric, has proven that he does not make decision base on issues, ideals and goals but rather that his decision are based on what is practical for him to do.

He has proven himself to be a man that do not have to courage to make great change nor he has proven himself to have a systematic plan to implement his plans.

Everything he does is tempered by opportunities and not practicality.

This is a perfect example where the Pak Lah seems to think he cannot afford to be seen pressured by both side of reformist, and those greedy within the party that wants change.

This is the prime minister, he is more cosmetic than real so in effect, all is lost already.

If the prime minister is a surgeon and I am the patient, I think I would be long gone by now, just because he has to wait for inspiration before he can, while in the meantime, I am bleeding to death or a malignant cancer continues to ravage the body.

No matter how Pak Lah reshuffle his cabinet, there is a certain inevitability that the same deadwood ministers and the same faces of corrupt ministers, who have been there for umpteen ages will still continue to hold office.

With so many scandals and setbacks over the past few months and the discontentment and mounting adverse public opinions, Pak Lah must be feeling the heat and pressure to do something quick with or without any inspiration.

It is sad to see most ministers, head of department and etc, are there for status, power and influence.

It should be about doing a great job for the agency and in the best interest of the ordinary people, and looked back with great pride and satisfaction of their achievements and a job well done!

Politic has seriously affected every ministry, department and agency. This is grossly unhealthy for the government and the delivery of professional, efficient and effective services to the ordinary people.

We are now at the crossroad, whereby it does not make much difference if Pak Lah decides to reshuffle or not. The whole machinery is slowly breaking down, just like old Proton Saga.

No point to do a top-overhaul. A general over-haul may last longer. The best option is to replace the whole engine block with a new one. This will meant Pak Lah has to go also.

He can't wait any longer. Might as well get it over with.

It takes a strong prime minister to discard his personal interest and political ties to dismantle the old, corrupt regime and start afresh. As I said, it takes a great man to institute such a mammoth change, a monumental change that will plot and shape the destiny of Malaysia.

samp said...

The malay leaders including Mahathir always think "those who sent their children for studies overseas are rich Chinese".

They do not understand how ones can develop themselves to become rich and independent character. Racist education policies and NEP etc, are the root cause of the problems.

In fact, all Chinese in Malaysia were poor laborers before. Many of them become riches later because of their hardworking, nothing else!

Take my case for example. During my school days, I had to go to rubber estate to tape rubber from 1 am to 7 am every morning to earn a living, then to school at 8 am.

As there was no part-time work and study available in local universities, I went to oversea university 30 years ago as a private student doing part-time work and study. After spending about 5 years there, I graduated and brought some money back to Malaysia.

Here in Malaysia, I worked for over 20 years, got additional masters degree and still not rich.

Contrary to universal privilege rights for the minority, it is sad that Malaysia is practicing privileged majority, NEP and discriminatory racist education policies.

Look at all our universities leaders are exclusively malays, clearly non-malays are unfairly excluding, and now higher education in crisis! People become third world mentality!

Affirmative action that fails to develop self-reliance and autonomy can do a lot of damages in the long run.

Ultimately, anyone should have a chance for education and excellence; we need to build equity upon excellence.

vesewe said...

50 years is enough!

Malaysians deserve to be treated like this. But it will be forgotten after a while until another increase of price take place. In Malaysia the government like to bully the people because the people have no will power to boycott.

Since most of us are perceive to be living in luxurious by the Malaysia government, the government think we will accept the fact after a while. A call for boycotting Petronas will fall on deaf here because simply the people have no will power.

Can anyone tell me any boycott events which have been successful in the past? To my best knowledge - nothing!

Then all this anger should be known by the government and the government must be sensitive because the voters are utter rubbish.

History has proven again and again that BN government is the great actor and great liar. But the people keep on vote for them again and again because it seems we have no choice. What you mean we have no choice! It is not we have no choice, but we are fear of change and like to remain status quo.

Until the people willing to take up radical and revolutionary changes, the government shall always take us for ride. They understand us very well but we still do not understand them after nearly 50 years.

No wonder Malaysia universities produce unemployable graduates.

50 years is enough!

Corruption is already a culture in Malaysia society. There are too many cases to be dealt with. This is not unexpected. The system is run by fools like most of the ministers.

Let said with government-linked companies (GLCs) losing billions of taxpayers money through gross mismanagement, political appointments of unaccountable chief executive officers (CEOs) and rampant corruption, the government should not expect sympathy from the people.

Giving the government more money when it fails time and again, is no different than feeding an addict.

If we want to blur the demarcation between politics and religion in a plural society such as ours, then the result will be bad governance and division as we continue to witness in our beloved country.

Crimes, inflation, rising illegal immigrants and worsening unemployment are testimonies of a worst case scenario.

With the incorrigible, intransigent and power crazy people still around and with myopic belief from the opposition, there won't be any changes in the political scene in Malaysia for another 50 years……….if these inveterate people and recalcitrant are still around!

The problem is intractable, as long as we are a nation divided along race and religion. That is the colonial strategy which has worked wonders for BN.

We have to come together on common ground, and that means all Malaysians - Chinese, Iban, Indian, Kadazan, Malay, and Senoi etc.

It is time for the government of the day to change their policies before the electorates who voted them into power are plunged into a crisis. Otherwise, it is time for the people to change and choose new leaders.

Good luck Malaysians. You are in for a tough time!

yuking said...

As I had said, it is free economy that work!

Do you believe that the teacher love your kid more than you?
Do you believe that the headmaster love your kid more than you?
Do you believe that the education minister love your kid more than you?

If the above answer is NO, why don't they give the right and choice to choose the school, back into the hand of the parent?

The problem in Malaysia is the government want to control everything! Down to the sugar price! They do it in the name of the citizens! By using a navy ship to deliver sugar is another form of subsidiary to the sugar factory, you are in fact using state resources!

The more you let the bureaucrats to control our everyday life, the more problems and ineffective the citizens will face!

tim said...

My understanding is so long as there is discrimination against one party, there will never be trust among each other. Let take for an example, imagine a person work so hard each day to support his family, and at the end of the day, he/she realize that the tax paying to the government will fully used to subsized and assist another party systematically.

Given that the economic share cake has now been totally controlled by the malays (more than 50%) and couple with all those systematic discrimination action taken by the government, I wonder how the unity of Bangsa Malaysia is going to exist.

In fact, my personal view is all has to do with the malays self, I find malay is very disgruntled and never satisfied, and with disgruntled behavior that is built in subconsciously, no wonder all the malay employees work in the government institution or any government link company will systematically bias when comes to approving some decision that involve "malay" and "non-malay", for example, we always see our leader talks about racial harmony and education scholarship should based on merit and fair.

However, little did he realize that when come to execution of his talking is not actually implemented by the middle management people in those institution.

A general truth is high dependency behavior will not make you growth!

Anyhow, don't be so naive, I hope you malay can read more newspaper and open up your eyes to see things more clearly. Quite clearly you have no idea what is going on in this country in term of the policy that have been implemented by our government.

Did you realized that your income that you earned is being divert to systematically assist the already affluent malay community!

I recently bought a condo at PJ, and one of the buyer next to me is a malay and was driving a brand new Honda Accord, and during conversation between him and his family that they can be granted a discount of 10%.

This is a real discrimination and obviously the government would have been taking to the court if this happen in the USA (unfortunately our legal system is also not discrimination entity).

Did you realize that nowadays that most of the people buying the branded staffs in Kuala Lumpur is dominated by malays, just take a scroll one day to KLCC and ask the branded shop personal about the majority of their community customer, you will be surprised.

Further, what really upset is the education scholarship not granted to other races. Big hope, I am fervent believer of God, and my church always pray for Malaysia. Do me a favor, wake up yourself, or stop disguising yourself.

I thanked God today because he has woke me up from my foolishness. Now it is my duty to wake you all up if you are still sleeping.

Yes, I can make a change! From now onward, as much as possible, I will not support any organization or body that worship racial discrimination. I will start this from petrol station and fast food restaurant. I do not have to wait until general election to decide what type of government I want.

And as for you, my beloved people, you have to decide today whether you want to reject, ignore or accept, my invitation to make a change in our country for the better future of our children and their next generation.

May God's wisdom be with you all.

It is sad and those of us who chose to stay pay the price for ourselves and our children, but I prefer they learn and choose what is best for themselves in their future. As for me, my destiny is here, no matter what. We walk with God, pray, do our part, and be secure in him. We can influence, small it may be, but never underestimate the power of love, hope and faith.

vovo said...

The facts:

(1) Orang Asli Negritos are the first inhabitants in this land

(2) Proto malays came from Yunan in China

(3) Deutro malays came from Indonesia

(4) Malays are Hindus/Buddhists for 2000 years

(5) Harun and Razak plot the 1969 riot

(6) Social contract rewriting after 1969 riot

(7) Bumis term never exist before 1969 riot

(8) lie - Blame Chinese control economic 70%

(9) lie - Blame Chinese/Tamil schools for national disunity

(10) lie - Blame Singapore government suppress malays

(Many more.)

San said...

The Chinese in Malaysia, are caught between a rock and a hard place. Vote for Barisan Nasional and put up with racism, inefficiency and corruption. You will see your rights as a citizen being slowly whittled away.

Vote for the opposition and no development or maintenance funds for your area. Anyway, with all the gerrymandering, the Chinese votes can't make a significant dent on Umno stranglehold on power.

So the Chinese bury their heads in the sand. They get busy earning money through legal as well as illegal means. Malaysian Chinese bookies and fake credit card syndicates are world-renowned.

Some of our most capable brains end up in Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries. The more resourceful ones find Umno partners and go into big business. The rest of us mere mortals work our butts off to save money.

While it is debatable whether the Chinese are still in control of the economy or not, there is no doubt that a small number of well-connected Chinese businessmen are among the wealthiest people in Malaysia.

However, the vast majority of the Chinese in Malaysia are in the lower middle class, the middle class and upper middle class. They are bank-tellers, doctors, engineers, farmers, hawkers, peddlers, small traders, technicians, teachers, etc. There are about seven million Chinese in Malaysia. Common sense will tell you that not all of them are wealthy.

The Chinese are fed up with the government but they really feel helpless because they have been cowed into submission.

Fortunately, our traditional work ethics come to our rescue. We work hard to save money and send our children overseas and hope that they will have a better life there and be treated as first-class citizens.

molisa said...

Malaysia being in such a sad state, I can only see decline for decades to come.

May be even for centuries.

May be the rise of China can give the bright sparks of Malaysia some leverage to change society, but I doubt whether the ingrained culture of failure can be reversed.

Not the UK, not the US, not in most parts of the world, the culture of failure always reproduced itself generation after generation.

Change has to come from external influence and not from the inside.

honyang said...

Congratulations to you who have found happiness in your adopted country. You have made the wise decision indeed to emigrate, and surely you and your family are enjoying every moment in of it in your newly adopted country.

You are very right. There is a will, there is a way!

Time for a life is limited, and we just can't screw around. Instead of grousing around and doing nothing, you have taken positive steps to achieve what you want.

To emigrate or not is basically a personal choice. You decide your own destination. Best luck to you!

Before I decided to apply for emigration, I did have the same thinking like you. I was not rich with four kids, I am 100% Chinese educated. I did not give up, I collected a lot of information through Internet, and I talked to those pioneers who came back for vacation.

Finally, I applied for emigration and gone through an assessment plus an English test. I emigrated to Australia two years ago and settled down quite well.

There are many different categories for you to apply, it is not necessary you have to be rich. Do not simply give up. Do not blame on other people, or you are a real loser..........

In the animal kingdom, animals migrate for food and water. Similarly looking at the history, migration actually is a natural process in which mankind has continuously looked for greener pasture. Very few countries (maybe none) actually maintain pure single race especially at this age of modern transportation, and the world is getting very small.

I am sure you can't emigrate just by telling the Australian immigration that you like their country so much and you were treated badly by Malaysia, at least not legally.

Alas, not everyone is that lucky. Migrating to a first world country is not easy (why should it be?). Most importantly, you need to have money. I am sure most of you started off your journey away from home with a tertiary education at a university in your adopted country. How many people in Malaysia can afford to send their children to study overseas?

No doubt things are bad back home in Malaysia, especially those who are not born with the right skin color. Given the chance, I am sure all the unprivileged ones would like to move away forever and forget about the mess back home.

For those who have emigrated, farewell and goodbye. We do what we can and enjoy life in every moment we have.

ruyom said...

There is always discrepancy between the source the Malaysia government used to produce reports and the source the media is getting.

Later they will say those source from media is rubbish while they don't even know how is their source came about.

Just like the ASLI reports, until right now the government couldn't release the methodology they used to calculate the NEP.

Ask you, if you earn RM1000 per month 10 years ago and if you earn RM1000 now, will your lifestyle is the same?

Only those people who stayed under the 'well' will keep the money under the pillow and still thinking that he is 'rich' forever.

Badawi failed statistic paper, what do you expected his judgment of stock?

Why the destruction in wealth? I give you one word (four if you want to be pedantic) - Umno.

If you look back at all the man made calamities suffered by this bountiful country, the misguided and plainly destructive policies, rampant corruption, hypocrisy, leakages, wastages, it all leads back to that one entity, Umno.

The core or the political center as one puts it, is cancerous and utterly rotten. No doubt, there are good people in the party willing to fight for the values we all cherish, but the hierarchy from the top right down to divisional leaders, is beyond salvation.

Every Malaysian worth his salt feels shame for the downright shameful way the country is being run except the country's leaders. I doubt they know the meaning of shame.

Our resources and public funds are being drained like the 'air longkang'. Of course our economic will also heads toward and looks like 'air longkang'. The management of country economic is given to wrong person like 'kera mendapat bunga'.

Of course we know what happen to the flower. God Bless Bolehland.

Brain drain is going on at the rapid pace as rapid as how rapid China and India is growing!

No meritocracy, no transparency, wishy-washy policies, daylight robbery - and we expect investors to come into this country?

Without the EPF propping up the stock market, the paper losses would have been phenomenal. In any case, this government will simply lower the bar and put on the spin that the Malaysia stock market is still in positive territory.

Remember - these people do not know the meaning of the word 'shame'.

We concentrated and invested so much in education but the economy is not growing fast and sophisticated enough to provide good, meaningful and rewarding jobs to our people.

Other countries will take advantage of our educated, hardworking, knowledgeable and skillful people to generate jobs and real wealth for their own people.

This is what competition and globalisation are all about……….borders are disappearing and money and people move easily.

Malaysia stock market, like Malaysia politics, is opaque. By and large, only fools would venture where angels fear to tread.

I would venture to say that the performance of the stock market is, to a large degree, directly proportional to the political culture of this country - the greater the accountability, integrity, transparency - you will see a corresponding growth in investors confidence and foreign investments etc.

The reason why bursa is doing so badly is Mahathir and his capital control. Foreign investors got badly burned when he suddenly changed the rules in 1997.

At that time cap control looked like a good idea, but if you had allowed the market to fall, it would eventually recover to its true value.

In a bull run, a market might overshoot its true value by 100% and vice versa.