KUALA LUMPUR — Nov. 7, 2018: The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) has expressed concerns over the 2019 Budget, claiming that it is marginalising many community groups and advocating unbridled free market philosophy.
While acknowledging the budget as good and positive because it focuses on the B40 group, MTEM chief executive Ahmad Yazid Othman nevertheless said it also portrays its weaknesses by leaving out certain groups like fishermen and farmers.
MTEM also disagrees with finance minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement (on free market philosophy) that the best government should not engage in business. To Yazid, this seems to reflect on his intention to release the government’s holdings in government-linked businesses.
“If this were to happen, one of the most effective Bumiputera economic advancement tools will be gone forever,” Yazid said in a statement yesterday.
The council is further disappointed with the small allocation proposed for the Bumiputera economic agenda, which is only about RM3.6 billion compared to RM314.5 billion previously.
“There is no concerted effort to re-establish the National Paddy & Rice Board even though MTEM and Padi Rescue have argued on its importance to national food security.
“The proposed allocations for agriculture and fisheries focus on industrial development such as research for seed, automation and industrial training that farmers and fishermen cannot directly utilise,” he said. — Bernama