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Why huge disparity in budget allocation for races, Lim asks Ismail
Published on: Tuesday, September 20, 2022
By: FMT
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Budget 2023 will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 7. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng has called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to explain why the Indian and Chinese communities received less than 3% of the allocation set aside for the Bumiputera and Orang Asli communities under Budget 2022.

Speaking at a Chinese cultural festival on Sunday, Ismail gave an assurance that the urban and rural Chinese communities will not be marginalised in Budget 2023.

He said the government will ensure that the budget is focused on the welfare and well-being of the people as a whole.

In a statement, Lim said: “Such assurances are easily dismissed as empty rhetoric for the forthcoming general election when during his first budget presented as prime minister (last year), both the Chinese and Indian communities were obviously discriminated against in terms of allocations.”

In Budget 2022, RM11.4 billion was allocated for the Bumiputera community, RM274 million for the Orang Asli community, and RM345 million for the Chinese and Indian communities.

“If we include the RM274 million allocated to the Orang Asli community in the Bumiputera column, the RM345 million for the Chinese and Indian communities is less than 3% of the RM11,674 million for the Bumiputera and Orang Asli communities,” he said.

“No one opposes the RM11,674 million allocation to the Bumiputera and Orang Asli communities.

“But can Ismail explain why the Indian and Chinese communities deserved only RM345 million or less than 3% of the RM11,674 million that was given to the Bumiputera and Orang Asli communities?

“How can Ismail ensure that Budget 2023 is focused on the welfare and well-being of the people as a whole, when the budget is race-specific and not based on needs?”

Lim said even Malay economists had pointed out the imbalance.

Muhammed Abdul Khalid, who was once former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s economic adviser, questioned the lack of fairness in Budget 2022 after citing the disparity in allocations between the Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera communities.

“That is only around 3% of what the Bumiputera community received,” he said last November on a talk show on Budget 2022.

“What is important to me, as a Muslim, is the concept of fairness. Where is the fairness?

“It’s true there are many rich Chinese, but there are also many who are poor. Are we being fair?”

Budget 2023 will be tabled on Oct 7.

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