Budget 2014 Changes that don't add up to a reform


Increased handouts, lack of transparency, purported subsidy cuts and more. Budget 2014 has some glaring issues. 

The 2014 budget was formulated with two prior events in mind: the election in May 2013 and Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of Malaysia’s credit ratings outlook in July 2013. The federal government handed out many “goodies” to electorates that had voted for the ruling BN coalition, such as increased Internet access and the upgrading of airports in Sabah and Sarawak. The introduction of the GST to reduce the budget deficit was a move designed to appease the international rating agencies.

Budget 2014 may appear to be a much-needed reform, but closer inspection shows a lack of significant structural change to the budget process.

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