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What Harapan’s shadow budget is and isn't

COMMENT | I saw two comments on Facebook from people who had read Pakatan Harapan’s shadow budget.

One was from a journalist who said he had a headache after skimming through the document and had to take a break before reading the whole thing, the other was from a researcher who described reading it as “tiring”.

I suppose not too many people will read the entire 75-page document.

There may be space later to examine in detail many of the initiatives in Harapan’s budget, if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s actual budget hasn’t taken up all the attention by then.

For now, perhaps we can reflect a little on what the shadow budget is, and what it isn’t. We can then perhaps spend some time thinking about further and better ways that Pakatan can similarly invest their time and resources.

Better to have one than not

While some points below may be critical, I think that overall, it is definitely better for Pakatan to have a shadow budget than to not have one.

The first thing that a comprehensive shadow budget indicates is that there are leaders within Pakatan who are sufficiently competent to at least put together a sufficiently considered financial roadmap for the nation.

Whether or not we agree with all the directions and assumptions of this roadmap is another matter, of course.

Nevertheless, I think we can say with relative certainty that the shadow budget is, at the minimum, credulous.

This means that the shadow budget is probably not, among other things, completely unimplementable, or a document so far removed from the standards of actual budgets as to be laughable.

This also indicates that there are leaders within Harapan who will likely be able to lead the nation’s economy - or at least not perform abysmally worse than the current people at the helm.

Perhaps this may seem obvious or an insult to point out, but given that we are still a nation that has never been ruled by a coalition other than BN, these doubts are still sometimes a psychological block of some sort...

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