Popular populism? Najib's Budget 2013 gamble

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COMMENT Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has announced the second election primer budget full of goodies, extending from bonuses to civil servants to handouts to lower income households.

This budget is Najib’s latest fiscal effort to secure him a solid victory in the 13th general election that has to be held before the end of June next year.

The budget is a continuation of a historically unprecedented pattern of direct government transfers to woo political support that has broadened in scope, increased in amount and moved development policy from needs based initiatives to what appears to be a coordinated regime political survival programme.

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