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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Budget 2014 not inclusive enough

Published: Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 2:15:20 PM

KUCHING: Politician Datuk Peter Minos (pic) has called on the Government to include the interests of the Dayaks in Budget 2014.

He said since the Government was giving special allocation to the Indian community, the same should be done for the Dayaks.

Minos was referring to a special allocation for skills training, education and entrepreneurship, totaling over RM100mil set aside for the Indian community.

This is on top of enjoying all other things that all Malay-sians enjoy from Budget 2014.

“I was thinking why not to the Dayaks as well considering that they are in the same boat like the Indians or even worse in many aspects. I say that the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu need extra boost in training for new skills and expertise,” he said.

Minos said while there were education funds from many government sources, at times there were Dayak children who found it difficult to enter universities and colleges because of poor funding.

He said it was tough for some aspiring Dayaks even though they were also called bumiputra, which should ensure that there were special funds for them to acquire skills and expertise. But too often they were bumiputra only in name, he noted.

“Hopefully, the Prime Minister would think of the Dayaks in the next budget,” he said.

On the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be implemented by April 1, 2015, Minos said many nations had GST as a way of getting tax revenue from everyone, so Malaysia was following the trend. He said if well implemented, GST could boost government revenue.

“But the Opposition had already declared war on GST, calling it financially burdening the people given current rising costs.”

He believed families with monthly income of RM3000 and below would feel the pinch, especially those in the urban areas.

“The Government must give very clear logic and rationale why GST is needed and state the many ways how it can give to the people things like BR1M, reduce personal income tax, GST exemptions and so on. By and by people will appreciate and accept GST.”

Aside from that, Minos said the Government must say clearly that revenues from GST were for development, hence, good for the people.

“People everywhere hate taxes but love the goodies, so the controversies over GST are nothing new or unexpected. An opposition against taxes is part of democracy, as we see anywhere,” he said.

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