Pakatan Harapan moots putting 1MDB into administration in alternative budget

BY KAMLES KUMAR
Pakatan Harapan lawmakers presenting the Alternative Budget 2016 at Dewan Rakyat today. — Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Pakatan Harapan suggested in its shadow budget today a restructuring of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by putting the firm into administration, claiming the rescue mechanism could be one way to help repair Malaysia’s image to the world.

According to the budget presented by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other lawmakers from the federal opposition pact, putting the firm into administration would also restore confidence in the economy.

“The serious legacy issues plaguing 1MDB are tainting Malaysia’s international image as a whole; causing investors to perceive the company as a representation of our country.

“The sooner 1MDB is out into administration, the sooner misperceptions can be corrected and the damage repaired,” according to the 50-page budget.

The opposition’s Budget also proposed to “effectively abolish” the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by zero-rating all items.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli explained that this was because scrapping the tax would mean that the money spent to comply with the GST would be wasted and additional costs must be incurred both by the government and traders.

“If we simply abolish GST that is equal to asking business and operations to revert back to before GST era.

“We will be forfeiting a RM5 billion investment we put in already and would be plunging the country into an even further economic problem,” he told reporters in the press conference.

Dr Wan Azizah said that the alternative budget was necessary to press the government to be more transparent and accountable in its expenditure.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is due to table the Budget for 2016 this Friday.