Johor PKR rep Hassan Karim hopes Budget 2023 retabled with lower deficit

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PASIR GUDANG, Dec 30 — Putrajaya would need to present an amended Budget 2023, preferably one showing a surplus, in Dewan Rakyat come February 15, claimed Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim.

However, he said if the opposite happens, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will need to find a way to present a budget with a lower projected deficit.

"The national budget has been in deficit and debt for a long time. It is hoped that Anwar will be able to use his eight-year experience as a former finance minister in finding a way to come out with a surplus budget.

"This is because the budget presented when he was the former finance minister was always a surplus budget," Hassan told reporters after visiting a cash crop plantation site in Taman Cendana here.

The PKR lawmaker was commenting on Anwar’s scheduled retabling of Budget 2023 in Dewan Rakyat on February 24 next year at the first session of the 15th Parliament sitting.

Hassan, who is an activist lawyer, said that through the budget, it was hoped that the prime minister would prioritise the public's needs first and not champion the interests of corporate companies like in the previous budget presented by former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He pointed out that the first budget of the "unity government" also needs to address the cost of living because he considers the budgets of the previous administrations led by Ismail Sabri and his predecessor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as a failure.

Hassan, known for his forthrightness, said Anwar needs to be given a chance to deal with the cost-of-living issue, which will take time.

"The Tambun MP is not 'Superman' who can solve the problem overnight,” he said, adding that the proposed budget requires careful, systematic and fundamental planning which is considered important.

Hassan explained that the budget will also not be able to solve the ringgit’s falling value, but he believes that some steps can be taken to strengthen the currency.

"If the budget presented is progressive, it will attract investment from within and outside the country,” he said.

Hassan also expressed hope that the government will provide sufficient allocation for the education sector.

He said the Education Ministry, through Budget 2023, needs to handle address the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) in a progressive manner.

Hassan added that the implementation of the minimum wage also needs to be resolved, in addition to the government acting to absorb doctors hired on contract to prevent such professionals from migrating abroad.

Anwar was reported to have said that the government will take a more targeted approach to protect the people and small businesses through Budget 2023, while reducing leakages that benefit the ultra-rich and giant companies.