NOVEMBER 01, 2013
|Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, |
New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs
Fat Bidin Media www.fatbidin.com
So it's been exactly one week since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled the National Budget 2014 in Parliament.
There I was, sitting in the newsroom listening to him speaking and enjoying the attention he was getting.
So, among the highlights would have to be the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in May 2014.
And at 6%, it is definitely higher than the 4% to 5% that everyone was expecting to be announced.
There is also the cut in subsidy for sugar. It's going to cost substantially more now so we won't be a diabetic nation.
But it is guaranteed that every other food product in the market will increase in price too.
There is also the increase in the income tax bracket and also the abolishment people having to file their tax returns.
So it really looks like Budget 2014 is trying very hard to address the country's fiscal deficit.
That's what everyone is focusing on and it's all good and well. But I think I'll choose to highlight something else.
If you notice, the Prime Minister announced all kinds of incentives for the Bumiputeras and the Indian community.
And guess what? Hardly any incentives were announced for the Chinese community. Actually, there was nothing.
In fact, the PM even said that he was thanking the Indian community for voting Barisan Nasional in the General Election.
So, by not giving any incentives to the Chinese, he was basically saying, serves you right for pulling that "tsunami" stunt.
Now, how well does that bode with the fact that the PM is supposed to be the PM of all Malaysians?
It seems that he's the PM for only those who voted for BN. That definitely does not bode well with what it's supposed to be.
This, to me, is blatant racism and discriminatory. Maybe the Prime Minister doesn't see it that way. He is after all the expert who coined 1Malaysia.
Some people may say that I'm just being negative and pessimistic instead of looking at the positive aspects of the budget.
Well, in my books, systematic, government discrimination is unethical and morally wrong. I guess the PM is probably reading a different book. - November 1, 2013.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.