Well, well, well... The newly announced Budget 2012 seems to be a very holistic one, which covers almost everyone (even the opposition MPs). In the budget, a total of RM232.8 billions was allocated to implement all Government development plans, which include the projects and programs under various plans, focusing on the well-being of the rakyat. But, there are a few interesting questions that Finance Malaysia would like to highlight here.
1) Is it too optimistic?
As we all know, the external environment is becoming more challenging once again due to slowdown in US, Europe and Japan (if not double-dip recession). This would definitely impact Malaysia as manufacturing sector still playing a crucial role in our country's growth. While IMF is revising downward the global growth next year, our Government is projecting a 5 - 5.5% growth this year, and 5 - 6% for 2012. I think we should be very happy if Malaysia can grow more than 4.5% for 2011 and 2012.
2) Budget Deficit to come down?Taking into account the estimated revenue and expenditure, the Federal Government deficit in 2012 is expected to improve to 4.7% of GDP compared with 5.4% in 2011. As we all know, Petronas is the main contributor to Government's revenue, which is heavily relies on crude oil prices. How much is the estimated price Government based on 2012? It does not stated. Of course, it should be lower than current year. Am I correct?
3) Construction sector to be one of the main growth engine?
By setting a 7% growth forecast for Construction sector next year, is it too optimistic (yet again)? Given the current state of delayed tendering process, land acquisition dispute and change of project owners (MRT project), I doubt the execution part of the beautifully layout projects. Do remember that Hong Kong and Singapore takes more than 5 years just for planning for their MRT projects. And, if we can kick-start so soon, sure Malaysia Boleh!!!
4) Is it really Rakyat-centric?
Just as rakyat coping with high living cost, especially in urban areas, there is some relieves after the Government's latest various incentives and rebates. Subsidies on some of the basic food items were continued. Concurrently, our MPs also have higher allowance. This seems like a win-win situation. However, would the Government forgot about another very important item - petrol? As promised earlier, our petrol prices are adjusted according to market price. Judging from the fallen crude oil prices lately, why Government still not yet lower petrol prices? I believe this is definitely a better and more effective way to help rakyat.