Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 17th
November 2008 at 11 am:
Najib should not leave behind a RM7 billion
“black hole” in the 2009 Budget and should direct Second Finance
Minister to take necessary action to incorporate the economic stimulus
package into the 2009 Budget for parliamentary approval
As the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance
Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is leaving for Peru and the United
States tomorrow and will not be back until early next month, when the
2009 Budget would have been passed by Parliament, there is one important
thing he should do in the next 24 hours before he goes abroad.
Najib should not leave behind a RM7 billion “black hole” in the 2009
Budget and should direct Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yakcop
to take necessary action to incorporate the economic stimulus package
into the 2009 Budget for parliamentary approval.
All over the world, governments are preparing their countries to face
the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years. China has announced a
US$586 billion economic stimulus package while South Korea unveiled a
US$11 billion stimulus package. In the United States, Congress is
working with the Bush Administration to craft a US$700 billion bailout
of troubled US banks.
Malaysia, however, is an oddity. Although the government has announced a
measly RM7 billion economic stimulus package when winding up the debate
on the 2009 Budget on November 4, this RM7 billion economic stimulus
package is quite a mirage as it has not been formally presented to
Parliament by way of an amendment to the 2009 Budget and is therefore
not before Parliament for approval when every sen of government
expenditure must be passed by the House.
This is why there is a complete air of unreality in the 2009 Budget
debate, as there is a RM7 billion “black hole” so long as the economic
stimulus package has not been incorporated into the 2009 Budget and
placed on the agenda for parliamentary approval.
This RN7 billion “black hole” in the 2009 Budget is completely
indefensible and unacceptable. The Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri
Najib Razak has got very lousy advisers who could land him in such a
trouble as not complying with parliamentary procedures and practices in
seeking a formal approval from Parliament for the RM7 billion package.
Najib should leave clear instruction for this parliamentary faux pax to
be rectified in his absence.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor