The 2010 Budget was formulated to ensure that the fruits of development are enjoyed by all Malaysians, and also to shift the nation towards a high-income economy.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung said the Budget reflects the 1Malaysia theme as policies of the federal and state government cannot be divisive in nature as this will cause a major split among the races.
He also said that according to the Economic Planning Unit, if Malaysia is to be considered a high-economy or advanced country, it must achieve a US$15,000 per capita income and attain an annual growth rate of 5.4% for the next 10 years.
Chor was delivering the first keynote speech at the ‘2010 Malaysian Budget Dialogue’ at WOU organised by the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI) and Federation on Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) northern branch, and supported by the State Economic Planning Unit.
He stressed that for 2010, the “expenditure part of spending of all government departments should be cut by at least 15% so as to keep the budget going and the country continue to function,” adding that it would be “better if it is 20%.”
He noted that the Malaysian economy is forecasted to grow by 2% to 3% next year, asserting, “So we need prudent spending without jeopardising the government machinery, economic growth or well-being of the rakyat.”
Chor assured that for the 2010 Budget, the Government aims to ensure that “public expenditure is implemented with integrity and value for money.”
The earlier welcoming speech was presented by SERI chairman Dato’ Dr Sharom Rahmat while the second keynote address was delivered by Penang Second Deputy Chief Minister Prof Dr P Ramasamy.
The speakers for the panel session chaired by USM’s Prof Suresh Narayanan were: Ahmad Saifuddin Morat, consultant economist cum Energy Saving consultant, who spoke on “Implication of Budget 2010 on the Malaysian Economy”; MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua, on “Malaysian Fiscal Decentralisation: Achieving Accelerated Growth”; SERI senior research fellow Dr Chan Huan Chiang on ‘Implication of Budget 2010 on Labour and Society”; and FMM northern branch chairman Dato’ O.K. Lee on “Implication of Budget 2010 on the Manufacturing Sector”.
About 150 people attended, including SERI executive director and MP for Bukit Bendera Liew Chin Tong, SERI director Dato’ Toh Kin Woon and State Financial Officer Datuk Farizan Darus.
The half-day dialogue was later officially closed by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.