In the midst of expectations by the whole nation, Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi delivered his budget speech at 16:00. As expected, he gave out a lot of goodies to send everybody back with joys in his heart. I shall add in some comments after I have had all the details.
A national budget is simply an outline of a government's expenses and revenues for the coming year.
Budgets have an economic, political and technical basis. In short, they are not entirely designed to allocate scarce resources for the best economic use to achieve sustainable growth. They also have a political basis wherein different interests push and pull in an attempt to obtain benefits and avoid burdens. The technical element is the forcast of the likely levels of revenues and expenses.
Malaysian Budget 2008 has all the three elements in its framework. Aiming for sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive global environment, Malaysia has to upgrade its human resources and improve its product quality. This is achievable through giving incentives.
The short term growth can be sustained by expansionary fiscal policy. The continuing deficit budget for 2008 is in response to the impending global situation.
Politically, Abdullah has to fit in with the timing of the next election. This is to firm the foothold of BN. Anybody who is in his position would do the same thing.
Simply put, it is really a budget for the rakyat (people).
The above picture of Dato' Seri Abdullah Badawi is downloaded from Wikipedia.