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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To be in reality or clouded in a shadow of doubt?

1. It is within the public knowledge that the National Budget for year 2012 was tabled by Datuk Seri (DS) Mohd Najib in the Parliament on 5-10-2011. The tabling of the said budget had inevitably pulled public interests and this was evident by noticing in the following day, newspapers reporting the said budget were sold like hot cakes. Perhaps this is an accepted norm in Malaysia as the public are keenly interested to know what the Government may have to offer to the public in 2012’s socio economic blueprint.

2. It is also within the public knowledge that for the first time the Opposition Front/Pakatan Rakyat (PR) collectively released their own version of the Budget, 3 days prior to the tabling of the National Budget (NB). PR called it “the Shadow Budget” (SB) and the main intention for the release was to show that PR could do things differently, if not better, for socio economic sustainability and growth of this nation.

3. A friend asked whether this SB can be considered in the Parliament or might pose any impact to the budget tabled by the Government. My direct answer is “No”! A budget is actually a Supply Bill while the SB is merely a manifesto or propaganda statement. Parliament will only consider, deliberate, debate and approve the Bill which is tabled in its house and will not at any time consider, deliberate, debate and approve a document that is merely a party’s manifesto. When a Bill is approved by both Houses of Parliament, it becomes an Act. Through this Act the Government shall be empowered and authorized to spend the monies from the Consolidated Fund in accordance to what has been approved.

4. In other words, the SB neither carries any weight nor any merit for Parliament’s consideration unless it is introduced as a private Bill. History, however, indicates that all private Bills ever introduced in Parliament had failed to get necessary support for consideration and deliberation. Taking into consideration the number of seats that PR now has in Parliament, introducing a private Bill is definitely not a good idea.

5. The practice of making a Shadow Budget (SB) is common in countries like the US and the Great Britain. Through this shadow budget the opposition party intends to show to the public how they would spent the public money if they are the Government. As earlier said, the SB is merely a manifesto or a propaganda statement. Therefore it is permissible to promise “the sky and the stars” in the SB because the opposition knows that they would not have to fulfill the promises or make good of such promises now. On the contrary, the Government has to make good of all its promises once the proposed Bill is approved. So now, we would able to differentiate clearly which one is real and which one is fictitious.

6. So my dear friends, I believe I can say the following with much confidence:-

6.1. RM500 a month to all teachers for teaching allowance as stated in SB is fictitious while a new scheme with time based promotion is real. Annual increment between RM80 to RM320 for all civil servants is real.

6.2. RM1,000 as yearly bonus for government pensioners as stated in SB is fictitious while pension adjustment and 2% yearly increment on pension received as proposed in NB is real.

6.3. RM1,000 a month for childcare allowance for homemakers (suri rumah) as stated in SB is fictitious while the one off assistance of RM500 to households with monthly income RM3,000 or less, schooling assistance of RM100 a month for each child (year 1 to Form 5) and book voucher to all Malaysian students studying in Higher Learning Institution are real.

6.4. The payout for the balance of one month bonus given to civil servants with the minimum of RM500 as proposed by DS Mohd Najib is real.

These are some of the examples to demonstrate which one is real and which one is fictitious.

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Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 120

"Bukan orang Yahudi, ataupun Nasrani yang akan menerimamu, melainkan jika kamu mengikut agama mereka. Katakan,"Hanya petunjuk Allah sahaja yang benar" Jika kamu menyetujui kehendak mereka, setelah kamu menerima ilmu pengetahuan, kamu akan dapati tidak ada satu perjanjian ataupun penyokong dapat menolongmu dari Allah."

Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 216

"Kamu diwajibkan berperang (untuk menentang pencerobohan) sedang peperangan itu ialah perkara yang kamu benci; dan boleh jadi kamu benci kepada sesuatu padahal ia baik bagi kamu, dan boleh jadi kamu suka kepada sesuatu padahal ia buruk bagi kamu. Dan (ingatlah), Allah jualah Yang mengetahui (semuanya itu), sedang kamu tidak mengetahuinya."

Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 28

"Janganlah orang-orang yang beriman mengambil orang- orang kafir menjadi teman rapat dengan meninggalkan orang-orang yang beriman. Dan sesiapa yang melakukan (larangan) yang demikian maka tiadalah ia (mendapat perlindungan) dari Allah dalam sesuatu apapun, kecuali kamu hendak menjaga diri daripada sesuatu bahaya yang ditakuti dari pihak mereka (yang kafir itu). Dan Allah perintahkan supaya kamu beringat-ingat terhadap kekuasaan diriNya (menyeksa kamu). Dan kepada Allah jualah tempat kembali."

Surah Al-An'aam, Ayat 67

"Tiap-tiap khabar berita mempunyai masa yang menentukannya (yang membuktikan benarnya atau dustanya); dan kamu akan mengetahuinya."

Surah Ar-Ra'd, Ayat 11

"Bagi tiap-tiap seorang ada malaikat penjaganya silih berganti dari hadapannya dan dari belakangnya, yang mengawas dan menjaganya (dari sesuatu bahaya) dengan perintah Allah. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak mengubah apa yang ada pada sesuatu kaum sehingga mereka mengubah apa yang ada pada diri mereka sendiri. Dan apabila Allah menghendaki untuk menimpakan kepada sesuatu kaum bala bencana (disebabkan kesalahan mereka sendiri), maka tiada sesiapapun yang dapat menolak atau menahan apa yang ditetapkanNya itu, dan tidak ada sesiapapun yang dapat menolong dan melindungi mereka selain daripadaNya."

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