Permata has thus far sucked up RM2 billion of taxpayers' money. It's the black hole in Najib’s budget with no one knowing how the money was or is being used.
COMMENTAn interesting area that has raised many an eyebrow and has set Malaysian tongues wagging is the budget allocation for the education section.
Note a whopping RM1.2 billion has been allocated for pre-school education. And of this Rosmah Mansor’s pet project, Permata Negara Programme, has been allocated RM111 million.
Now, what has Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife, Rosmah, done to deserve RM111 million? Or, for that matter, what has Permata Negara programme done and achieved?
What Permata has done is to suck up taxpayers’ money to the tune of RM2 billion thus far.
It’s the black hole in Najib’s budget. And nobody knows how the money was or is being used.
Does Rosmah’s project require such huge taxpayers’ money considering that most of the pre-schools are fee-based and privately-owned?
The recent Times Ranking of Universities has revealed the problem we have.
Najib’s ETP and foreigner labour
Where do we get a trained workforce to propel the nation to the high-income economy with US$15,000 per capita income?
We have so many universities producing quantity but not quality. Seriously, with so many more SPM-standard workers, how do we push up our productivity boundaries?
Our traditional plantation sector requires 500,000 foreign workers. It seems our economy is attracting the low-end labour force which will certainly frustrate our lofty aims of becoming a high- income economy by 2020.
We have plenty of low-paying jobs that Malaysians shun but are attractive to foreigners, so we have three million foreigners here.
What does their presence do? They drive down wages.
Foreigners set our salary/wage levels. Some 40% of our people are only as rich or as poor as these foreigners!
We have become an attractive country to jobless Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Filipinos and Myanmars.
They would all want to vote for Umno/BN/Najib if they could, and some can. Herein lies Najib’s Economic Transformation (Programme).
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.