The Budget – A Prelude To Living In Peace
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- Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 08:31:55 +0800
The Budget ? A Prelude To Living In Peace
Updated:2007-09-08 14:51:27 MYT
The first chapter for the 2008 budget would be everybody's hope for owning a
house, having enough money to spend and a safe place to live.
House buyers are spoilt for choices as a result of the robust housing boom in
recent years especially those living in urban centres. However, the public may
not afford to own a house as there's not much left of their disposable income
after EPF and income tax deductions. It does not help for housing loan interest
to remain high. There are also other outstanding debts like car loan to clear.
This is compounded by spiralling living costs like transportation, food and fees
for their children's education.
Even if they work hard and are able to pay the initial instalment with their
savings, most of the people would have to cut down on other expenses as most of
their income would go to servicing their housing loans.
The 2008 budget announced by Prime Minister Datuk Sri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has
basically ?resolved? the housing problems. This might as well be a 50th
independence anniversary gift to the people.
Owning a house basically could improve the people's quality of life. Could you
imagine how troublesome it is for those who had to rent? Each time a owner wants
back his property, the tenant has to start looking for a new place to stay.
The quality of live also depends on the consumption level. Nowadays, we always
say that our salaries are unable to keep up with price increases. The prices of
good keep going up because costs of production are going up all the time.
Inflation is inflicting a heavy burden on those with low incomes.
Undoubtedly with more national economic growth, the government?s coffers would
be topped up thus sparing the people from higher income taxes. Such is the case
with this year's Budget, thus it is seen as a good one.
The so-called living in peace, people request for a safe living environment
besides of wishing the government to come out with a better plan in national
wealth distribution. Even with improvement for our living standard, our lives
are still affected if we have to live in fear as our social order is poor.
On the social side, people want to feel safe in public places. Foreign investors
would expect that too.. Since the government introduced the Johor Iskandar
Development Region, many investors have been concerned about the capability of
the police and other law enforcement agencies in providing security in the much
touted development project. It is time for the government to resolve the social
concern with appropriate measures.
It is essential to beef up the police force in order to strengthen its manpower
base. The public is also concerned about the quality of police officers
especially in criminal investigations. Poor investigations have resulted in many
a case being dismissed.
Other than the efficiency of the police, the budget has also noted the need of
improving the efficiency of the public delivery system. Once again, civil
servants enjoy bonuses as an encouragement. This announcement is coincided with
the aim of improving people's quality of life mentioned above. Nevertheless,
people still wonder whether this could help in changing the attitudes of the
Any flaw in the public delivery system could seriously affect the implementation
of government policies. For example, Ministry of Housing and Local Government
introduced the one-stop services to speed up the approval of Certificate of
Completion, but the procedures could drag on by inefficient implementing
authorities. Therefore, the public hope these problems could be resolved.
As an overview, the budget is down to earth and many see it as a sweetener to
the forthcoming general elections. However, the electorate cannot be persuaded
merely by this year?s Budget alone. Other things must also improve. The recent
pig farm controversy is closely related to housing problems and that too is a
challenge for the government. (By Chong Lip Teck, Sin Chew Daily)
( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of
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