KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 28, 2016: Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani has rubbished a claim that the government was unwilling to share critical statistics needed by the opposition to formulate its shadow budget.
The claim was made by DAP publicity chief Tony Pua when speaking to The Mole on Tuesday.
“We requested a lot of information from the ministry (Finance Ministry) but they were reluctant to share it with us,” lamented Pua.
“So we had to put-together our budget based on information we gained from libraries.”
Johari however told The Mole today that Pua was talking nonsense.
“How can he accuse the government of not wanting to share information when they are currently debating the budget in parliament this week?
“In fact, our thick budget book that was distributed to all members of parliament has every single expenditure breakdown of every ministry.
“So tell me. How can he claim that the opposition does not have sufficient information to come out with a proper budget?” Johari rhetorically asked.
Johari insisted that if the opposition indeed did not have the required information, they should formulate their shadow budget after the government had tabled the budget.
“That way, they can use the information from the national budget to properly formulate their shadow budget,” pointed out Johari, who is an accountant by training.
On Thursday last week, Johari insisted that the opposition’s shadow 2017 budget was unrealistic it was formulated based on estimates instead of credible statistics.
For example, the opposition’s budget fails to clarify how the opposition will recoup the RM38 billion of revenue gained from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which they intend to zero-rate.
The shadow budget was unveiled a day before the national budget was presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Friday last week.
Besides aiming to reduce the reliance on the GST, this budget highlights other measures such as reducing the allocation for the PM’s Department and tackling corruption.