20 Februari, 2009

Preparing the Mini Budget


I would like to touch base again with you on the suggestions received. I have mentioned, the second stimulus package must remain realistic and relevant. I aspire to ensure that this package will be fresh, engaging and benefit all Malaysians.

Consequently, I have personally taken the initiative to meet 12 ministers and senior officials of the respective ministries during this week. Yesterday alone, seven ministers and their officials were called to discuss how best to allocate our resources for the Mini Budget. The meetings have been engaging and I am confident that the contributions will benefit the economy.

I would like to share with you, that out of more than 500 comments and emails received , most of them covered a wide range of issues and subjects, such as consumer spending, government expenditure, investment, trade and taxes. Specifically, relevant and practical suggestions include ideas on taxes and subsidies (90 suggestions), fuel and energy (35), automotive and housing (30), finance (20), unemployment (20), implementation and monitoring (10), and others (about 100). These suggestions provided me some guidance on the issues that matter most to you, the rakyat. As the Minister of Finance, this blog is one avenue through which, I am able to reach out and engage all Malaysians from various backgrounds.

While all these suggestions and views are carefully reviewed, we must also consider the overall effectiveness of the measures taken to shore up our economy. It is also critical for Malaysia to ensure continued prudence in financial management. I have stressed that the Mini Budget must generate real economic activity, especially so this year, to cushion the economy from the on-going global economic crisis.

Your contributions have been invaluable in providing me with crucial insights into what must be done in finding the way forward during these uncertain times. I thank you all for your willingness and eagerness to participate in this important process. Your participation has certainly confirmed my thoughts that for this Mini Budget, the welfare of the people, including those who get retrenched and other vulnerable groups, will be seriously considered.

Thank you again. Your contributions were very useful.