Call on Cabinet tomorrow to convene a special Parliamentary meeting end of this month to present a revised 2015 Budget

The Cabinet tomorrow should do what it should have done at its last Cabinet meeting for 2014 on Dec. 17 – to convene a Special meeting of Parliament this month to present a revised Budget 2015.

When the Budget 2015 was drawn up, it was based on the oil price assumption of US$100 (RM357) per barrel.

Since the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak presented Budget 2015 on Oct. 25, Brent crude prices had fallen from US$100 to a six year-low of US$47.36.

Oil and gas-related income is a backbone of the Malaysian economy as it currently accounts for 30% of the government’s total revenue.

With the plunge in crude oil prices, the Government is duty-bound to revise the 2015 Budget and seek parliamentary approval for revision of the 2015 Budget.

The Cabinet should decide on convening a Special Parliament before the end of January now that Prime Minister who is also Finance Minister has finally conceded today on the need to restructure the 2015 Budget.

The revised 2015 Budget is urgent and imperative as a result of economic and financial developments with far-reaching implications, like the Malaysian ringgit hitting a 5 ½ low versus the dollar, touching a low of 3.5870 versus the dollar as of 0626 GMT, it lowest since July 2009 and the RM36 billion fall in Malaysia’s foreign reserves in 2014.

The 2015 Budget of RM273.9 billion is clearly not sustainable as a result of the plunging commodity prices, not only oil, but also palm oil and rubber. In fact, economists are warning that Malaysia may be facing a deflation.

A special Parliament meeting should also debate the many urgent issues confronting the country, including (1) the worst floods catastrophe in living memory; (2) the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Illegal Immigrants in Sabah; (3) the RM1.3 trillion illegal capital flight in the ten years from 2003 to 2012; and (4) the urgent need for moderates in Malaysia regardless of race, religion, region or politics to unite and defeat the rhetoric and politics of hate, bigotry, intolerance and extremism.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah