KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 (Bernama) — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the opposition’s proposal for the government to wholly alter the 2009 Budget and table a new budget was not only unreasonable but would also stunt economic growth.
He said during the debate on the 2009 Budget, which was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who was also the Finance Minister then, some opposition members had proposed that the budget be reviewed and tabled again in parliament due to the changing global economic climate of late.
“The government will not table a new Budget 2009. Changing the budget and tabling a new one as demanded by the opposition will only stifle government’s effort in maintaining the economic growth momentum.
“The government will instead continue to focus on managing the country’s affairs and improving the people’s lot so that the economy will not be hit by recession.
“Therefore, it is important to continue with the government’s expenditure plans for 2009 to ensure stable economic growth for the people’s well-being,” Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said when winding up the debate on the 2009n Budget at the policy level in the Dewan Rakyat, here today.
He said the government was always aware and would monitor closely developments in the domestic and world economy.
“Uncertainties and the global financial crisis have had negative implications on this country’s financial market. But thank God, the policies, controls and austerity moves by the government previously have been the foundation of our strong financial position,” he said.
Najib said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) had spoken for five hours on the 2009 Budget after it was tabled in parliament.
“This was extrordinary if compared with the one-and-a-half hours taken by the prime minister to table the budget on Aug 29.
“Still, the claim by the member from Permatang Pauh that the 2009 Budget cannot be applied is unfounded. In fact, the opposition’s attempt to form a new government on Sept 16 this year was nothing more than a fantasy, a dream that did not materialise,” he said.
What was clear, said Najib, was that the opposition’s attempt had caused instability, disharmony and affected investors’ confidence in the country.
He said the Barisan Nasional government would, however, remain strong to look after the interests of all the races in the country.
“The spirit of the 2009 Budget shows a caring government which will continue with its noble struggle for the people.
“In facing the challenges around us, I urge all Malaysians, whether in this country or abroad, to contribute to overcoming the effects of the global financial crisis.
“We must learn from past experiences, where we managed to weather each crisis with the strong spirit of unity and cooperation among us,” he said.
Najib said all quarters, whether the public or private sector, non-governmental organisations or political parties, each had an important role to play to ensure that the country continued to grow and develop.
He believed that unity and strong cooperation among all groups concerned would enable Malaysia to face the challenges ahead.
“No matter how hard the impact of the global economic crisis, we will weather it with careful preparation. Our fortress of defence must be reinforced with solid support from all quarters.
“Let’s shoulder the trust with full responsibility in building a strong national economy through the 2009 Budget. Our noble struggle must be pursued with prudence and wisdom in the interests of this beloved country of ours and the people,” he said.
Source : Bernama