Muyhiddin Has Manifested A Return Of The Najib’s Style Of Management Epitomised As “Cash is King” And “Concentration Of Power In Prime Minister”.

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Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

Member of Parliament for Stampin Chong Chieng Jen’s Debate on Budget 2021 Committee Stage on Prime Minister Department on 31-11-2020 (1)

In the 2021 Budget, Muyhiddin has manifested a return of the Najib’s style of management epitomized as “Cash is King” and “Concentration of power in Prime Minister”.

Comparing the 2021 Budget with the 2020 Budget, there is a sharp increase in the Development Expenditure (D.E.) for the Prime Minister Department (PMD).

In the 2020 Budget tabled by the Pakatan Harapan Government, the D.E. for PMD was only RM2.93 billion. But in the 2021 Budget, the D.E. for PMD is increased to RM7.22 billion.

Amongst the D.E. allocation for PMD there exists a few items which we can call “slush fund” where there is no specific purpose stated for the allocation and the usage of such fund is up to the whims and fancies of the Prime Minister alone. These so-called “slush fund’ items are RM520 million (Program Pembangunan), RM813 million (Projek Public Private Partnership), RM1,000 million (Projek Khas) and RM330 million (Projek Mesra Rakyat).

It seems that the reforms implemented by the Pakatan Harapan in the 22-month of PH Government, ie. the dilution of the Prime Minister’s power, is now being reversed by the current Perikatan Nasional Government and the old way of “Cash is King” and “All powerful Prime Minister” administration is inherited from Najib to Muyhiddin.

What saddens me is that, despite the increase of 147% in JPM’s D.E. allocation for 2021, the “Poverty Project Semenanjung/Sabah/Sarawak” (Butiran 00102 under the PMD) has been reduced by 30% from RM90 million in Budget 2020 to RM63 million in Budget 2021.