11MP: Show us the money!
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament this morning with plenty of nice-sounding pronouncements but very little else.
As far as fiscal allocation is concerned, I wish to caution the nation not to expect too much from the Plan as there is very little money in it.
Apart from policy pronouncements, the five-year Malaysia Plans are mainly for the Government to disclose how it will utilise the annual development allocations for the subsequent five years.
Najib announced that RM260 billion has been allocated for development for the five-year period of 2016-2020. I am of the view that it is grossly inadequate.
The 8th Malaysia Plan (2001-2005) allocated RM170 billion and the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) allocated RM220 billion.
For the 10th Malaysia Plan period, a total of RM249.2 billion was spent for development between 2011 and 2015 (as shown in the following chart).
|Year||RM (billion)||Percentage of total annual budget (%)|
If inflation is taken into account, it is quite clear that the development allocation has not been increased but indeed is on the decline.
The percentage of development budget vis-à-vis the total annual budget has decreased from 24% in 2011 to 18% in 2015. Administrative allocation has eaten into the share for development.
Within the meagre sum of the development budget, the Prime Minister’s Department took 4.3% of the 8th Malaysia Plan funds but 13.5% of the 9th Malaysia Plan funds. The same trend continued in the 10th Plan. For instance, in 2015, while the total development budget was only a meagre RM50.5 billion, the Prime Minister’s Department took the lion’s share of RM13 billion or 25% as its development budget.
There is very little real substance in the 11th Malaysia Plan unless Najib can show us the money to back it up.
Media statement by DAP National Political Education Director and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 21st May 2015 in Parliament, Kuala Lumpur