Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim Thursday proposed an alternative budget plan to restore confidence in the country's
economy amid a global downturn and expected low growth rates.
Anwar produced a 20-page document that proposes slashing government expenditure on mega-projects and opening up public tenders while spending more on areas that provide direct help to the people.
"Our recommendations, if implemented properly, will steer the country through the turbulence ahead," Anwar told reporters on the sidelines of the annual budget debate in parliament.
He said the Pakatan Rakyat alliance of opposition parties came up with the plan after the government unveiled its budget in August this year but refused to amend it despite a downturn in the global and local economies.
The proposals call for a 23.83 billion ringgit (6.69 billion dollar) cut in the government's proposed operating expenditure of 154.17 billion ringgit (43.25 billion dollars) with additional savings by reducing corruption and mandating open tenders for government procurement.
"The aborted 1.13 billion crooked scenic bridge, a nine billion ringgit undersea cable-tracking project and a 15.2 billion high speed broadband project, all this has got to be shelved," Anwar said.
He said the money could then be put into improving education standards, strategic public transport initiatives, home ownership and fighting crime.
However, his budget proposals are unlikely to be accepted by the Barisan Nasional coalition government which control two-thirds of the house and does not normally work with the opposition in formulating laws and policies.
A resurgent opposition scored a big win in March 8 polls when it secured a third of parliamentary seats and control of five states. – msn/Agence France-Presse - 10/23/2008 9:56 AM GMT
Anwar’s options to take power diminishing by M/insider
Anwar no longer in a hurry to take power By Shannon Teoh, M/insider
This is the first BIG step on the way. So do not think of arrival or meeting; they are not yet in sight. How can you reach Brader! There are mountains in the way, and high peaks and deep ditches besides. What you are calling to is very hard on them; for they remain captive to their fancies and never know the real perfections of the Deen – the way of life, the royal road. When they meet you, they say: "We are with you;" but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: "We are really with you: We were only mocking." – So beware!