Tokobuku Faisal Mustaffa

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Monday, 19-Oct-2009 08:48 Email | Share | Bookmark
THE BUDGET: How the Government is Spending OUR Money

Every year, around Budget time in September or October, public attention focuses on the “goodies” we can expect from the government. Will our income taxes be cut? Will the subsidies continue? Will the road-tax rebate be extended? And every year, after the Budget is announced, there are the usual proclamations of “it’s a people’s budget”, “it’s people-friendly”, “it’s a growth budget”.

Really, those “goodies” are a mirage. Whatever “goodies” we get, we pay for in other ways. Those “goodies” are not free money handed out by the government. Those “goodies” are paid for with our tax money!

It’s called a Budget because the government, like us, has a fixed sum of money to work with every year.

The government gets its money from taxes such as income and corporate taxes and various excise and tariff duties, and yes, petroleum royalties. That fills the government wallet. And out of the wallet comes expenditure on paying civil servants, funding healthcare and education and national development and yes, our “goodies”.

Every Ringgit of “goodies” that we “get” is a Ringgit less for other important things, like healthcare or education, for example.

The mainstream media and government are happy to keep the focus on “goodies” because it avoids discussion and debate on the really important issues including accountability and choice.

These issues are covered in The Budget - How the Government is spending OUR money. The federal government alone is expected to spend about RM200 billion this year. That is about RM8,000 for each Malaysian. On top of that, there is also spending by state and local governments. Do you think you got your money’s worth?

The first of its kind in Malaysia, this book explains in plain English where the federal government gets its income and what it spends it on. Interested citizens and taxpayers will find this an accessible read while professionals will, for the first time, find the numbers compiled in a concise format.

Endorsed by Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz (“an excellent guide … so intelligently put together”), Professor Rajah Rasiah of the University of Malaya (“simple language backed with solid statistics” and Yeo Yang Poh, Past President of the Malaysian Bar Council (“a straightforward, incisive approach to this normally dry subject”) and with illustrations by Antares (formerly known as Kit Leee), be informed and entertained for just RM20.

The federal government of Malaysia spends about RM200bn per year. On top of that, there is also spending by state and local governments. Where is all that money going? The Budget: How the government is spending OUR money is a guide to how the government raises its funds and how it chooses to spend that money.

Budgets are arguably the most critical macroeconomic instruments governments use to address long and short-term development goals. Public expenditure provides the infrastructure - transport, utilities, healthcare, education, defence and other basic services - necessary to meet the needs of the people and to stimulate growth.

Despite this, the budget is rarely put through the paces of thorough, accessible discourse. By addressing the issues of budget formulation, its components, sources of deficit, transparency and the political economy of government expenditure in Malaysia, the author sheds light on a topic that is usually conveyed through approximations, whitewashing and grand addresses.

This book serves us a timely reminder of the impact of the nation’s budgetary policies on our everyday lives. This simple, straightforward approach to the perplexing but important issue of the budget is the essential dummies guide; a must-read for every citizen and taxpayer.

Book Detail:

978-983-44629-6-3 | Paperback | RM 20* (English)

Author: Teh Chi-Chang
Publisher: Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
Year: 2009

* excluding postage charges

To order;

1. Pls SMS 019-2232002 (Type <BUDGET BOOK>)
2. After confirmation from the administrator, pay the amount to or Maybank Kawanku to account Faisal bin Mustaffa (MBB 114179439605)

* choices:, Maybank kawanku ATM, or the nearest Maybank branches near you.

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