KUALA LUMPUR: On Aug 29, Pak Lah announced the nation’s biggest budget in history, RM207.9 billion, which was mostly panned by critics. It was also a bad budget for people like me, those in the middle class.
Anyway, how much did he allocated for defence?
Not much really, there was a slight increase in the operating expenditure of the defence sector at RM18.232 billion compared to the RM17.232 billion spent in 2008-2007. From the RM18 billion, defence is only allocated RM10.651 billion while the rest is meant for internal security or police and border security.
No reason was given for the higher management allocation, I can only presume it is a reflection of higher fuel prices and the increase in salaries and allowances.
The biggest surprise is of course the 42.1 cut in allocation for the development (procurement) expenditure which is now listed at RM4.073 billion. Last year, defence got RM7.032 billion.
Of course based on previous years experience, they will spent a little bit more but the amount, its pittance. Just a little above USD1 billion and the amount is shared by defence (RM3.014 billion) and the rest for police and internal security.
I believe the cut in development expenditure is the biggest since the 1997 economic crisis.
The implications? Nothing much this year and next year. The money is only enough to pay for the delivery of the rest of the Sukhoi Su-30MKMs and perhaps spare parts for armed forces equipment, ie pumps, etc. Looks like the cronies will have to sleep out the next few years….
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