KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2019 failed to protect marginalized groups, including the lowest 40% (B40) of the population, says Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khaira, who holds the portfolio of the shadow of the Treasury, has asked the government not to give special emphasis to those groups that are facing the high cost of living.
"According to the budget for 2019, we thought it was going to be a budget for hunting, encouraging poor fishermen, farmers and students.
"However, what we see is a free market budget, a budget for the rich, and a budget that privatizes all aspects.
"The budget has forgotten all important segments," he said in an interview for Budget 2019 in parliament on Monday.
"How can they forget the situation of fishermen and farmers especially during this rainy season," the former Minister of Youth and Sports asked.
Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) laughed when he said the government had forgotten the group because "Damansara are not just poor people, but the rich," in a clear strike at Damansara MP Tony Pua, the finance minister.
Khairy continued his speech when he said that "power filled their ego," which caused them to neglect lower-income groups in the budget.
"They could not even fulfill their electoral program and the budget should cover their failure.
"But when they were handed over, they forgot about the situation of the poor," he said.
Khairy labeled the 2019 budget as just a "copy paste, rebranding, a continuation of previous Barisana initiatives".
He pointed to Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), which is similar to that provided by the Barisan Government (1Malaysia People & Aid – BR1M).
"Unfortunately, he dropped to RM500 to RM1,500," Khairy said.
He also expressed his disappointment at Pakat's inability to fulfill his promise of postponing repayments to National Higher Education Borrowers (PTPTN) until their salary exceeds at least $ 4,000 a month.
"It is those who have a $ 1000 million salary, which is below the minimum wage at national level, will have to cut wages," he said.
Datuk Seri, dr. Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) laughed and asked the government why she had not met her promises.
"In 2013, they promised to provide free education, but in GE14 they promised to allow debtors from the PTPTN to pay installments only if their salaries reach 4,000 people.
"What happened to their promises," he asked.
Meanwhile, Khaira, when he met the Bureau of Parliament, said the budget submitted by the Pakistani government was "very cruel" to the B40.
"I have also proposed income tax for the middle class, I have also proposed a restructuring of the income tax system so that we can tax the rich and divide them into middle classes and B40 groups, but that was not done by the Pakatan government," he said.
Khairy also refused that the budget previously submitted by Baris's government was aimed at the B40 to get support.
"First of all we helped the B40 group not because of the votes, we helped them because they are poor, so I strongly refuted the idea that we helped the B40 because of the vote," he told a question to the media.
Khairy said that if this budget removed from this budget with a special dividend from Petronas from RM20bil, then the amount is not too far from what Barisan presented last year.
"Debt payments are almost the same, because state debts do not need to be repaid immediately – they are long-term debts.
"So you had almost the same amount of money and you could keep many programs for B40 but you did not.
"For me, this means that this budget is very, very cruel to the B40," he added.