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DAP proposes RM48 billion plan - Updated Malaysiakini report

Malaysiakini's report:

DAP has come out strongly against the economic policies of the government in light of the economic uncertainties looming over Malaysia.

The 2009 budget only promises a tax cut of RM364.2 million - equates to RM36 per working citizen - which is why the party is slamming the BN government for failing to take steps to ‘bail out’ working Malaysians.

lim guan eng vs koh tsu koon penang 080808 03“They are burdened with financial constraint due to rapidly rising cost of living.

“However, the BN government has neglected them while helping an elite few,” blasted Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

He said the RM364.2 million tax cuts for working Malaysians was nothing compared with the RM5 billion drawn off the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to help troubled companies.

“It’s a discriminatory policy against workers as their EPF is being used to help employers not them.

“BN has got its priorities wrong by helping a few from the business class with its short-sighted measure that confuses and equates economic policy with corporate bailouts,” said Lim in a statement today.

He asked Putrajaya to immediately implement a RM48 billion economic stimulus plan to help ordinary Malaysian workers and small businessmen to overcome the adverse impact of the global economic crisis.

The stimulus package

The DAP plan includes:

  • RM 6,000 annual oil bonus to all families earning less than RM 6,000 a month. This will only cost RM 35 billion or a mere one-third of Petronas gross profits of RM 107 billion garnered in 2007.

  • A progressive reduction of corporate tax rate from the present 25% to 17% which will cost RM 13 billion.

  • A daily revision of petrol prices to reflect changing price of oil globally.

  • An immediate reduction in electricity tariffs - since its last rise was due to high oil price, which is not the case now.

If implemented, the plan according to Lim will relieve 27 million Malaysians and is more financially sustainable than using EPF billions to prop-up certain companies.

The triple 3F crisis - fuel, food and finance - has hit the global economy hard, lowering global listed capital by 30 percent.

While governments abroad have pumped in trillions of dollars to salvage the situation, Lim feels the Malaysian government has been “sluggish and inept” so far.

A fortnight ago, RM5 billion from the EPF was channelled to Valuecap Sdn Bhd to prop up struggling listed companies, money which Lim believe could have been used to help those most affected by the crisis.

“The government should stop being in denial mode.

“It’s time that it fulfills its sacred duty to act not for the few but in the national interests of all,” he said.

Multiplier effect

Lim expressed that the DAP stimulus package - to cut costs and put money in people’s pockets - will generate jobs and business.

The RM48 billion to be shared by ordinary Malaysians will drive the local economy - creating a multiplier which will contribute to the overall GDP.

He condemned EPF’s management team for agreeing to the government’s short-sighted measures without calling for a full board meeting.

The shares they have purchased have now already lost 15 percent in value, he said. He added that it was ill-advised for EPF to ignore the views of workers’ representatives.

“The workers did not have a say on how their money should be invested and were forced to risk their savings against their will to save a few companies, who never remembered to give back to employees when reaping huge profits before.

“This is another classic case of BN's unique public-private partnership where profits are privatised to individual companies but their losses socialised and borne by the public,” Lim added -