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September 4, 2008

Malaysia’s Anwar introduces alternative budget
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim unveiled an alternative budget that promises reduction in personal and corporate taxes with the government coffers compensated by, among others, revenue from the auctioning of Approved Permits (APs) for the import of vehicles, local daily The Edge reported.

Anwar was quoted as saying that if the opposition were to form the federal government, which based on his prediction would be less than two weeks from now, big-ticket items such as the 15.3-billion ringgit High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project would be shelved while the 35 billion ringgit allocated to upgrade the urban transportation sector would be reviewed.

He said the specific percentage of tax lowered would be deliberated with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders but reiterated that it was the principle of PR to reduce personal tax on all bandwidths in order to alleviate the burden of the rakyat and that the corporate tax rate be competitive to attract foreign investment.

“My economic philosophy has always been lower taxes will increase productivity. I’ve not changed from this position,” he told a press conference Tuesday on Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) response to Budget 2009 tabled by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi last Friday.

Incidentally the press conference on the budget also marks the exact date when he was sacked as deputy prime minister 10 years ago.

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