Archived: Pakatan gets cracking on Alternative Budget

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat today announced that it has set up a committee of eight MPs to draft the opposition coalition’s Alternative Budget 2014.

It will cover nine areas – national and international issues; economy and finance; security; education and jobs; farming, agriculture and rural development; resource management; welfare society and gender; and policies in Sabah and Sarawak.

“The drafting of the budget begins today. Many steps mentioned by Pakatan Rakyat in its manifesto for the GE13 will be included in the Alternative Budget,” said Azrul Azwar of PKR think-tank, Institut Rakyat.

He said Institut Rakyat would be the coordinator for the alternative budget, and he and his colleagues would monitor the budget as a whole.

DAP election strategist and MP for Serdang, Ong Kian Ming, who also sits on the committee, stressed that this alternative budget will be different from last year’s.

“We will include more views from Pakatan MPs and state assemblymen. We will select a representative from each component party to give their views and champion particular issues.”

PAS’ Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah, who is MP for Kuala Terengganu, said the committee would look into government wastage and excesses, and also include long term as well as short term plans in the budget.

“We want an educative budget. We want to educate society on what objectives a budget should have – that it is more than about efficiently finishing off money allocated by the government,” said Batu Pahat MP Idris Jusi of PKR.

Other members of the committee are Kuala Kedah MP Azman Ismail of PKR, Kapar MP G Manivannan of PKR, Stampin MP Julian Tan of DAP, and Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kwee Kwong of PKR.

But Ong said that this was not the final line-up, as other MPS were set to join the committee as well.