JPM’s huge allocation is unwarranted and unnecessary

Media Statement by Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee on 29th October 2015

(released in parliament at a 12pm press conference , 29.10.15)

Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee calls on Barisan Nasional MPs to demand that the allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department be reduced, as it is unwarranted and unnecessary, especially at a time when allocations for education, welfare and social spending experienced major cuts.

Treasury’s Secretary-General Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah told Bernama TV’s Bual Bicara programme that “the budget allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) in Budget 2016 is appropriate with the bigger number of departments, agencies and ministers compared with the other ministries.”

According to Irwan, “other ministries may have 10 departments only. Hence, rationally, the JPM needs more allocation.”

First, we are surprised that so far no minister has come to the defense of the Prime Minister and it is left to civil servants like Irwan to defend the unwarranted and unnecessary hike in allocation for JPM.

Second, the huge jump in allocation for JPM is a new phenomena under Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

A decade ago in 2006, Prime Minister’s Department took up only 2.67% of the total budgeted expenditure. In 2007 and 2008, it occupied 3.81% and 3.4% of resources respectively.

From 2009 onwards, JPM’s allocation doubled and stayed between 5% and slightly less than 7%.

6.71% was allocated for 2009, 6.37% (2010), 6.74% (2011), 5.38% (2012), 5.24% (2013) and 6.23% (2014).

For 2015, JPM received an allocation of RM19 billion or 6.96 per cent of the operating expenditure.

A total of RM20.3 billion or 7.6 per cent out of the total operating expenditure under Budget 2016 is allocated for JPM, the highest-ever allocation recorded.

Third, as disclosed by Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee two days ago, at least RM 8.55 billion of the allocation is “slush fund-like”.

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