On 29th March 2013, Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, the second Finance Minister has criticised PR’s manifesto that it will widen the federal government’s fiscal deficit to 11.5% from 4% as targeted this year.
He added that it is an outright increment of government’s debt to 62.1% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in comparison to the current 54.6%.
His statement was highly doubted as it was not supported by any facts or reports. Moreover, Najib Tun Razak still refuses to debate with the Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on their manifesto and policy.
The fact remains that Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah came out with that statement before the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s manifesto was launched on last Saturday. BN has sowed many forms of promises in which I opine are empty promises and are far more populist as compared to Pakatan Rakyat (PR)'s manifesto.
BN has promised that they will reduce car's prices, construct more affordable houses, reduction of highway tolls and to provide more assistance to the citizen through BR1M payment which amounts to RM1,200 a year and assistances in smaller amount to a particular section of people.
What bothers Malaysians is that, in sowing these far-from-truth promises, how is BN going to finance this expenditures?
The first BR1M cost about RM1.92 billion, whilst BR1M 2.0 cost about RM 3 billion. Both would at minimum amount no less than RM 4 billion. If the amount is raised to RM1,200 a year, thus the federal government will have to bear at least RM 5 billion a year. This does not include payments in smaller sum to others group of people where the expenditure would be compulsory and will reach hundred million ringgit.
This is different from PR's manifesto whereby it does not only underline our promises but it also provides the mechanism to be executed to reduce leakages and increase the federal government's revenue.
If Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah criticised PR for its manifesto which will increase the federal government fiscal deficit and eventually affects the credit rating, I would like to challenge him to repeat the same criticism on BN's manifesto.
His failure to do so will only prove that his earlier statement regarding PR's manifesto is only a political rhetoric and needless of any attention.