Mixed feelings on Budget 2010

Budget 2010 was unveiled yesterday.

It is a so-so budget, but it is certainly better than Budget 2009 last year.

As usual, there is something to cheer for  and there is also plenty to sigh for .

The environmentalists would be cheering.. Tax exemption will be given for building owners to spend on renovations to acquire the Green BUilding Index (GBI) certificate.

As a person who care for environment, I view this as an important step, and a symbolic step for people to realise that the world has to go green in order for our posterity to survive.  (As to what is GBI, please go to this ACEM website. —  ONe such building is the the Mesiniage building outside Subang Jaya)

Then the EFP savings plan by self employed is also a good move, even the government contribution of a maximum of RM60 maybe too little.

The RM 500 tax relief a year for broadband is also a welcome move, but more can be done to improve the quality of broadband services in the country; Malaysia was rated to be 48 out of 66 countries in a recent survey. (Read my post ‘MSC nation in the bottom third’).

The 1% income tax reduction is pittance and will be easily be offset by the credit card charges . MOst of us who pay tax will be carrying cards, since in this modern world, cashless transaction is the norm, especially with the high crime rate, who wants to carry plenty of cash out? The government instead of taxing on each credit card, should only do so on the 2nd card onwards. Supplementary cards based on the first principal card should not be taxed either. 

If the government is serious in promoting prudent spending, it should make a ruling that only those with income above RM 3000 and above be entitled to a card, instead of , now, any Tom Dick and Harry can have one.. which have led to abuse of credit and many credit card debts and bankruptcy..

For those in the  middle class group like you and me, please beware that there will be a new motor insurance scheme starting middle of next year. ALthough We do not know much about this, be assured that car insurance premium is going to go up..

The 1 billion extra given to the Police is astronomical, but even so, I am willing to give them a  chance  if they can raise their productivity and  show results. Otherwise, it will be a big waste of money.

To be fair to the police, I will not comment now, and hope that they will utilise this extra 1 billion well to bring crime down and good order back to the people.  Hopefuy , they utiltise this to train and retrain the police force to make them more professionals and efficient and people orientated, and not just spend on fanciful hardware.. (pls read my post ” a gadget is only as good as thperson using it’)

One big question,even though the PM has slashed budget deficits from 7.4% this year to 5.6% next year, how is this budget deficits funded?

I have always maintained that to have budget deficits for so many years would not be healthy, and is like taking overdraft and building up debts and letting the future generations pay for them. The only way is to reduce our operating expenses, since it is so huge compared to the development budget.

Slashing operating expenses should be done by reducing the size of civil service and making civil servants more efficient and productive. There should also efforts aimed at reduction of wastages and abuses like what was reported in Auditor General’s report.

There is indeed a huge cut in the operating expenses this year, but  with the number of civil servants remaining more or less the same, the cut will probably come from cut in subsidy in food and fuel… SO expect a higher fuel and food price next year, and a higher fuel price will hit the middle class more than the rich. Apparently a new mechanism is being worked out…

Overall, nothing exciting, but one thing can be sure: the sycophants will be singing praises in the MSM these 2 days.

See my last year posts on budget 2009:(viewpoints still valid for this year ‘s budget)

worrying trends in our spendings


33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robertchai
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 19:58:07

    Is it time to be competetive in our income tax structure? What a pity reduction of 1 % from 26%
    to 25%? Why not slash it further to 23 %?

    Improve public transport to make it more efficient.
    How about education that only emphasis on High Performance School? Who are to benefit from this area? How are we going to work it out? List the school down and what criteria that make that particular school qualify. How about those high rate dropout from National Chinese Type School that can’t follow the national curriculum. Are we satisfy with the so called school based examination? Is it valid and really carried out? have a proper evaluation and monitoring tools?

    Can we have that accountability for a better school environment? What direction is our education taking us say for the next 5 years? Why not give computer allowance for all students?


  2. KB
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 20:01:08

    There is no bonus for civil servants so no general election expected next year.


  3. klm
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 20:02:02

    I think personal tax should be eliminated. It is only 10% of the Govt revenue. Only a small percentage of the population pay personal tax.


  4. KB
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 20:06:04

    Expect GST to be introduced next year. This will raise the cost of living for everybody and has great political implication for BN. If election is expected in 2012, GST must be introduced not later than 2010 to proved a 2 years cooling off period or BN will commit political suicide.


  5. jughead
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 20:46:55

    If there is GST, then the income tax MUST reduce and this is the norm for countries that have implement the system decades ago. Question si the GST set at what rate? With GST, then the amount tax is simplified.

    Najib has to spend more because this is first year as PM. He has USA advisors to ask him to put up a good show. The following years may get tighter as the country is bleeding from over spending especially in wages. Out of 10 workers, more than 1 works for the iron rice bowl – government job. So how can Malaysia be productive? _ Only in babies for Dr M – 70 M mouths


  6. frank
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 21:18:07

    The Banks will suffer with the service charge of RM50 for the credit card main and RM25 for supplementary card. Many will sure cut the redundant cards into halves and return to the Banks where at least 30% customers lost is expected and many marketing staffs are to be affected, until to break their rice bowls!

    The chief sycophant, the back door Minister, KTK yet was hailing bravo to his new found master and laudable of his boss’s – 1 Malaysia budget which he proclaimed to be rakyat friendly!

    What the heck! Why can’t he change?!


  7. Justin Choo
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 21:45:10

    I only have one credit card. My wife has a supplementary one. That’s all.

    RM50 service tax for a credit card! RM25 for a supplementary card.

    Reason? To deter people holding too many cards. This way they will spend less. What a stupid spin! You mean to say I can’t spend more with one card? For no apparent reason, I have to fork out RM75 to feed these idiots; and I am a retired senior citizen (with no pension, by the way).

    Down with you despicable people. I will send all of you to Timbuktu, come the next GE!

    Another spin, another easy money spinner on easy targets.

    Like my granddaughter said, “I’m very very angry!”

    How about Service Tax RM100 for each mobile phone? That’ll be great!!

    May they rot in hell!!!


  8. frank
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 22:28:39


    Just one day before the read out of the so-called virgin budget of the great 1-malaysia bozo, so many polios were surrounding beside him with his hand fondling the shinny brief case like he was caressing the bobs!

    That bloody pose already made me feel like vomiting, and further more, after the release of all the bunkum in the case, my pukes really filled the whole toilet bowl !

    We have all these nerds to be at helm, coupled with all the sycophants and the deprave boot lickers, what else can we the rakyat expect?!

    Tighten the belt and keep punching holes for the buckle to move up more scales that’s how we respond to every time during these bloody mediocre are calling for show time to release their farts for our enjoyment!

    I will start cutting my many cards into halves tomorrow!


  9. KB
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 11:10:29

    Cutting income tax has no effect on the low income earner as they do not pay tax.
    A lot of Malays do not pay tax. They say they pay zakat instead. Hence GST is going to hit them hard.

    The govt has no choice but to widen the tax base via GST as only 10% of working people pay income tax of which 90% are Chinese. This small tax base is repeatedly milked for more tax to breaking point. I’m sure almost every good taxpayer has received notice for “back taxes” or “tax debts” whether true or not.

    Better the hard decision of GST be taken by the BN govt instead of PR.


  10. frank
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 11:13:36

    Before the great Finance Minister come out with his fantasy of ‘helping’ to weed out the abuse of credit cards facility, he must at least listen to the card community, those genuine ones, to know how they would utilize the said facilities for great convenience.

    Why we have so many cards, especially the supplementary cards?! For me, I will issue to my children who are abroad or even locally, when they enrolled to universities for the convenience of paying any contingency amount which is exceeding the pocket money and or the regular expenses for food subsistence allowances.

    It’s so convenient that as the parents, we dun have to rush to the bank and bank in cash whenever they come across such needs. Moreover, keeping too much cash in their accounts would not be possibly for anyone to control their cash flows since there are so many temptations out there in the market which anytime will lure them into over commitment!

    Now my plan for the children has been ruined and can I not feel cheesed off with the lackadaisical attitude of the ‘good’ government who has advocated for his bunkum 1-Malaysia?!

    Now there’s public odium in the brew, many card holders are going to follow suit cutting the cards and return to the Banks to save costs for the bread! The oversmart power that be will not have any chance to steal our hard earned money from our pockets any more! Shit budget – to rob Peter for Paul again!


  11. A true Malaysian
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 11:33:33

    For any Budget to run in deficit, to me, is not a good Budget, for simply reason of overspending with what we earned.

    Anyway, the consolation is that, next year Budget deficit is smaller than the previous years. I hope to see, the reason for smaller deficit budget is due to “awareness” of “overspending” in previous years instead of “sudden shock” that the national coffer is getting shallower and shallower.

    The government should ensure that its spending are “productive”, or for simple term, RM1 spent will generate at least RM1 income, but I am skeptical this is the case as year-in year-out, the Auditor General’s reports still show no improvement in management of funds. At least, we can read there’s improvement in states under Pakatan rule. This is a strong indication that rakyat supports in tsunami 308 is not in vain, and we should continue giving our supports.

    It is high time for Umno and BN to change as they country is not belongs to them. I may ask here, why not setting KPIs of various sectors based on this AG report, instead of employing KTK and Idris Jala to devise KPIs from zero base? What for paying salaries to these two gentlemen? Can they churn out at least 1:1 income from the salaries and perks that the government spent on them?

    It is no point I go in depth of the Budget as so long as personnel that involved in churning out the Budget are not there on merit basis, the Budget contains many faults like what our seldom angry Justin Choo pointed out.

    There are too much wastage that put discussion on the Budget meaningless. Clean up practices that contributed to these wastage is what Umno needs to do. Please put aside your ego that your people must be at the top of every ladder, that will do wonders to the nation.


  12. frank
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 11:38:02

    What is this 1% tax deduction? Peanuts for monkeys!

    If the same corrupted present leaderships were to tax on their cohorts who had looted umpteen black monies from the national coffer and stashed in banks overseas, in terms of multi billions, the rakyat may only be lucky enough to enjoy the same privileges of those nationals of Brunei!

    The average wages earners in Brunei do not need to pay for their income tax, such an welfare we Bolehlanders can only dream of!


  13. anonymous
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 12:11:43

    I am paying taxes for now on. What for paying?


  14. agerakan member
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 12:57:32

    dr hsu,
    gerakan NDC is coming.
    Do you think the reforms propose is going to make any difference to gerakan?
    I got a letter which says that president is going to brief us on it.


  15. klm
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 13:01:03

    a side track and may be related subject.

    I have always been wondering what is the size of the underground economy in Malaysia. Underground economy means outside the control of the government i.e. do not pay any taxes. example of underground economy is Al Long, illegal gambling and including the Cha Koay Teow. Is it bigger than the official economy. Does all these tax deduction and tax rebates actually make sense, if the underground economy is hugh.

    Maybe we should move some of our economic activities underground and stop paying tax.

    Just an evil immoral thought. 🙂


  16. daffodils
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 15:15:09

    Mr PM said paying RM50 for credit card not a big deal after all we r getting the RM1,000 tax relief. It’s not RM1000 deduction! It means less RM1000 chargeable income.

    Maybe he thinks that with easy credit, people tend to spend more. So he wants the rakyat to curb spending.

    Alright, then address all these squandering away of rakyat’s money. What about the wastage incurred from unnecessary expenditure on sending big delegations abroad on study trips? What about the wastage on buying laptops that costs 42K? What about the wastage on sending incompetent students studying abroad?

    What about the wastage on sending not only one to do pHD but sponsoring the spouse and children? Why do they have to follow along and incur expenses at the expense of taxpayer’s money?

    And this year the civil servants are not given bonuses although they will be given 500 special cash in December. So that account for a big chunk of savings as the size of the civil service is humongous.

    Then if subsidies for food and fuel is cut, then we expect even bigger savings. So we hope that those savings will be translated into something good for the rakyat. Dare we hope?


  17. frank
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 15:16:39


    Not at all evil your brilliant thought! I believe many anonymous are thinking along that line. Why should everybody pay to make the swines grow fatter when the harvest is still returned as penny?!

    Behind every Ah Long, there is always a bigger Ah Long. And the biggest ah Long are those with Datukship or even Datuk Sri that had not been lacked of any precedence in the criminal record.

    If you have any guilt of feeling immoral, how about those with such accolades from the top guns of the Country?! Are they not the moral judges? Or merely sounds moral in discourse?!

    “The upper beams not straight, how can the lower beams be not crooked?!”

    Only the teacher is teaching moral subject in the classroom as a job. In reality, we all follow the upper beams!

    So feel great, you are not the only crooked beam! I too concur!


  18. cilipadi
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 17:19:44

    Haha, I am not going to lecture about either paying or not paying tax is moral or immoral. My income from cilipadi is not qualified to pay income tax though I set foot in Malaya for so long.

    What about not paying tax but use the saving for charitable cause if one worries immoral for not paying tax? Those underground do this to neutralise their guilt being Ah Long, Robin Hood….hahahaha

    Maybe someone is right here, paying tax for what? For someone’s pockets?

    Up to you anyway. I close one eye in this.

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa tax burden?


  19. klm
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 18:59:48

    cilipadi. Actually, you are right. Do you know that many of the temples are supported by money from the gangsters. For example, the famous Buddhist temple in Jenjarom ( and as you are not local, this is the popular temple 40 hour drive from KL and famous for it light and flower show during Chinese New Year received large donations from the gang leaders in that area. Yes. Jenjarom is also famous for its gangsters.

    Maybe, they rather pay taxes to Buddha than to the govt. 🙂

    But, there is also a down to earth benefit for them. They use the meeting rooms in the temple for their meeting.

    Underground economy do makes direct payment to the beneficiaries.

    p/s. I did not make this up.


  20. disgusted
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 20:48:25

    Anybody knows who in the world originated this idea of paying taxes? maybe someone should start a revolution like the American Boston tea “party”, a revolt not to pay “tea” taxes, no representation, no taxes.

    What do citizens (everyone individually) benefits back from such taxes?

    of course, the “official parasites” said: running of the government. Well, the government is the biggest “Big Ear Hole.”


  21. cilipadi
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 21:22:34

    “Big Ear Hole”? Piggy bank?

    Empty piggy bank you mean?

    Big Ear Hole makan cili, Piggy bank rasa pedas


  22. disgusted
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 22:08:11

    Ha, haaa my friend Cili the padi, you must read it in Cantonese. Ask your Cantonese friends. Big (tai)
    Ear (Yee) Hole (loong) ha ha


  23. cilipadi
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 23:17:19

    Whatever, with the rate of leakages, money in the “Big Ear Hole” is drying up soon.

    I put the ratio 1 (spending): 0.1 (income)

    Not 1:1

    1 Spending makan cili, 0.1 Income rasa pedas


  24. Atila
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 02:10:02


    Dr Hsu,
    The portions are nothing more than on platinum plates to GLCs &…off course my ex-EC.

    Sigh!! I m disappointed.


  25. Atila
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 02:17:48


    Some dont like Brunei for it being an
    Islamic country.

    But average dont need to pay income tax,
    they get fresh meat poultry & milk everyday delivered by Air Brunei from Australia, no need to pay electricity bills, etc.



  26. frank
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 10:34:55


    I have a cousin working in Dubai, an Islamic State which has very strict Islamic law than Brunei according to what he revealed to me.

    There was once i read the news, a German tourist was trying to contend the law by behaving like the Yanks, at the beach front of the 5-star hotel compound, he was performing some acts with a woman which the law regards that as defamatory and obscene, and the man was charged in court. He was sentenced to 2 months jail plus some few thousands fine in USD!

    Beers are haram to be found consuming outside the hotel or dwelling place or work camp, in the presence of the open public, is also an offence. Except in the designated area like hotel coffee house, the liquor holes etc., the tourists or non Muslim can enjoy themselves as usual. The so-called Joesixpacks there know the law and they are ok to live with it!

    Though it’s very inconvenient for those non-Muslim and peoples of different creed to live with their free styles, they have to endure due to the lucrative jobs they own and the good moolah they would have earned! Cari makan mah!

    In Brunei, for those who can get a good job, they will also be obediently follow the local culture. More importantly is the job opportunity which could bring them the benefits of good income and the rest could be compromised.

    For my cousin, he used the opportunity to avert his bad habit of drinking and save the money for the family at homeland, and seems he’s happy with that too.

    That’s where it’s proven that the bread is more important than anything else. The problem with our government here is they are harping too much on racial and religious problem and neglecting people’s livelihoods. They have barely enough bread to feed their families, thus the rakyat are furious with them, yet knowing they are looting all our hard earned taxed income for their own pockets churned into private wealth, curses will be like flakes!

    In layman’s term – any government can just take care of the citizens’ rice bowls and general welfare with fair and square policy – the rakyat will not want to become the revolts. Simple as that!

    We need no 1-Malaysia bullshit to lure us into bad dreams and nightmares!


  27. clearwater
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 10:41:21

    This is a budget devoid of imaginative ideas and innovation. Same old, same old with different packaging. Hard decisions and festering problems are put off to the future. Nothing in budget 2010 excites, it’s plaintively boring. A new broom that still sweeps the same old BN -Umno way.

    PM Najib says let someone else deal with the continuing budgets deficits, with the bloated civil service, with deteriorating education standards, with rising crime, with inefficiencies and corruption, with the rise of mediocrity. Let us now throw some money here and there to look like we care, that will paper over the cracks. Most voters will not notice it’s a scam job, they think we’re dong good. We’ll still get re-elected, that’s what’s important.


  28. klm
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 10:58:36

    You know, when you are happy with the govt and satisfied with things, life is a bore.

    “In layman’s term – any government can just take care of the citizens’ rice bowls and general welfare with fair and square policy – the rakyat will not want to become the revolts. Simple as that!” This is the land of the lotus eater. The citizens will not progress.

    Look at Malaysia, the constant excitements and frustrations create high blood pressure and mental activity. It increases creativity – for example, 1Malaysia. All assumptions are challenged – see Teon Boon Hock’s inquest. All round there are actions and counter actions. Even the system could be changed.

    This is the best of times and it is the worst of times.

    p/s. Read this with some pinches of sarcasm. of course.


  29. frank
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 11:12:39


    that’s the 1-Malaysia mah!

    Now the music is flying every where. The first one in Penang who sung like soprano was the ex-CM you know who! He said the virgin budget is the No.1 Malaysia plan..good, good like Kentucky’s finger licking good! Sheesh!

    From RTM to the radio Hi Fi of our cars, the witch craft music is piercing our ears whether you like it or not, it’s haunting every innocent ear drums!

    Soon enough, we can see the billboards on the streets, overhead footbridges, banners and buntings everywhere, with the 1-Malaysia bullshits!

    Won’t be surprised, all ah Long (big ear holes) will also change their stickers with ‘1-malaysia loan’ as baits of the sharks and to be clued all round the lamp posts, public phone booths, and the tree trunks are to be not exempted of carrying such – all shits!

    You just watch!


  30. frank
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 11:21:38


    hahahaaa…I get what you meant, we must say thank you to the great founder of 1-Malaysia!

    It’s not only as good as finger licking good! It’s like marijuana, makes us float like good riddance on the magic flying carpet and also to see all the pink elephants having fun on the streets, in putrajaya!

    I feel good to live in this Bolehland, semuanya boleh!

    Enjoy your marijuana, it’s 1-Malaysia good good!


  31. klm
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 14:50:27

    Dr. Hsu. I dropped you an email with an attachment.


  32. Atila
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 21:30:34


    Yes, that applies in Dubayy, i was there for one year. There are designated areas for the non-Muslims to drink liquor and disco till late at nite.
    This is fair to non-Muslims.

    In Dubayy, I had hair cut and manicure at a Hair Salon, all females. Its ok, i saw many Americans women there too. (husbands expatriates).

    The problem is Malaysia is neither like Dubayy nor Turkey nor USA.

    Like I said before, Islam version of UMNO.


  33. Atila
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 21:32:38

    Dr. Hsu,

    I hope you can write on the latest about GLCs one day.



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