Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Sweet Budget

Since the Government has not much money, I expected the Finance Minister to push up prices of alcohol and fags to the ceiling. But that didn't happen. Cigarettes will cost about 60 sen more a pack only and the prices of alcohol remain the same. Even if the Government had increased Marlboro prices by 63 percent (which was how much the prices of diesel was increased the last time) cigarettes in Malaysia would still be among the cheapest in the region. The amount of money earned by the Government from higher prices of cigarette and alcohol could be used to improve the transportation system.

Still, the 1 per cent reduction in individual income tax makes the Budget 2009 one that's sweet for many people. Or is it?

Here's a quick guide to the 2009 Budget; and here for the economic highlights.


  1. Bro Rocky.

    1% percent reduction is like kinda the 15 cent reduction in pump prices.

    Was it good?

    Shoulda been more?


    And yeah, I wuz payin' attention to the sin taxes as well. Boy, am I HAPPY or what? At least Mr. Insomniac got his priorities right for once...

  2. Really a sweet budget. As a smoker I'm now afford to buy sweets instead of cigarretes.

  3. The 1% decrease is not enough Rocky. In income tax computation savings from this 1% tax reduction depends on how much taxable income is in that band anyway. This 1% won't offset much any increase in higher prices of goods that we are facing currently.

    The budget funding is a concern to me. Where does the govt get the money to fund this deficit. Overall, this is a pleasing budget but not an interesting budget. What's more interesting is how BNM (central bank) dished out its monetary policy this year admist the high inflation cause by the steep fuel price hike and downtrend economic growth. I have a lot of respect for Zeti this year.

  4. Anonymous4:33 am


    Your comment reminds me of the picture you once published showing the NSTP big guy having a fine wine tasting even witnessed by his NSTP slave. Mr Kali must have told the PM not to raise taxes on arak.

    Eight Finger Man

  5. Anonymous8:02 am

    Again, the great herd of middle middle-income group gets really nothing much out of this budget. The income-tax cut benefits the very rich and the lower mid-income group, that's all.

  6. Anonymous8:18 am

    Please stop smoking. If Rocky you are a smoker, you should then set an example to stop smoking. I dont like smokers in Malaysia. They are really annoying.

    Government should increase the cost of cigarattes in my opinion and also alcohol. Thats what some European country does. Atleast government can use the tax money from that for something more beneficial like transport.

  7. Anything in excess is dangeroud. Is the sweet budget bordering on diabetic?

    Cigerette and alcohol to finance public transportation? Are you pulling our leg? I can relate if it is tied with health bill.

    But this is Tuan Sadiq Sigaraga's budget.

    What I wonder is why is the budget tabled yesterday and the debate one and half month later? Is someone else going to end up defending and implimenting the budget later? Hmmm ....

  8. Dear Bro,

    This is a budget for Governement Servant & not for the rakyat.

    The part on employee is more for the higher ranking in private sector not for the normal working class.

    The part of transportation in not for immediate immplementation but later.

    All talk & no action.



  9. Anonymous9:29 am

    Hi Rocky,
    Can't load MT !
    Any reliable links ?

    Try Google but to no avail.

    Thanks a lot.

  10. Anonymous9:37 am

    rm35B utk rapidkl and rapidpenang.. WOW!!!!

    dan hanya Polis saja yg dapat kenaikan elaun.. hmmm... kenapa ek? apa yg diorang buat sampai dapat special treatment sgt tuuh!! padahal rata rata current news penuh dgn corruption!!

    pandai Pak Lah kita mengaburi gov servants dgn bonus satu bulan gaji, supaya semua gembira tak sedar yg byk wang disalurkan kepada kroninya!!



  11. Anonymous9:40 am

    I don't see any benefits given to those middle to low income group. The budget only benefits the very rich and the very poor. Like me earning about 2k a mth in the private sector and not receiving any other allowances and benefits from my employer...what is there in the budget for me ? There is nothing to increase my take home pay and I believe inflation is not going to come down because of this budget. So the millions and billions mentioned in the budget means nothing to me.

    Patrick, KL

  12. Anonymous10:27 am

    ya la ya la!
    "a sweet budget"? nay nay not for us in the hotel industries!
    with basic atound three hundred and sevice point two point five.


  13. Anonymous10:33 am

    batu ganas,
    hang dapat apa dr bajet gula-guli Loh Bhat Wee ni! hang betul2 pengganas berkepla batu.


  14. Anonymous11:09 am

    what happen to innovation? VC, MOSTI Grants Seed funding program, etc? Is there still any ?

  15. Anonymous11:28 am

    "A sweet budget" eh, Rocky?
    Glad you think so, for I sure as hell don't.

    Here's an interesting piece from Anil Netto. The comment from a retiree included here is also worth noting.

    Budget Day: Go on, change your lifestyle

    Here they go again, telling you to change your life-style:

    I am not sure what the pakciks and makciks in the kampongs, long-houses, estates, orang asli settlements, low-cost flats and urban pioneer settlements will make of this. And let’s not forget the migrant workers crammed 20-to-a-house. They are certainly not the ones cruising the roads in their Mercs or BMWs and spending RM10 on a cup of latte.

    See more here

  16. Anonymous11:37 am

    Like Malaysia Insider said, this budget is meant to boost his popularity. Though it seems to be generous I afraid the government does not have the sustaining power.

    The Pm did not outline his constructive plans to attract foreign investment and a long term strategy to boost the economy.

    It's like the layman stories we hear everyday. One sells his property to settle money lender and continue pay money lender and you know what; moneylender thinks you are good paymaster.


  17. yeahhhh i'm agree....but then y they dont give a damn to think such ideas?
    i just love my country but i can do nothing coz i'm still young.....MALAYSIA wait for my turn soon...

  18. Anonymous12:58 pm

    Instead of giving rebates, increment, special allowances & bonus...(typical FG approach)

    Why this FG (fucking Govt) never ever focus on how to improve our macro/micro economy by ..

    1)Increase the Purchasing Power Parity
    2) Mitigate inflation rate
    3) Strengthened the Ringgit

    Then only it will benefit everybody... nobody will ever ask for a nonsense bonuses, increment rate, special allowance anymore...then restore back the price to RM1.60/litre..

    FG never see around, now our neighbour Thai currency Baht-RM is 1:1 ratio.. Still FG talking cock about developing country on the right track when we already derailed by FG sleepy-head... (I love to stay in Hat Yai with the same amount of income I'm geting here in M'sia..higher PPP.)

    Please pity the people who cannot enjoy such benefits of being employees of either public or private sectors i.e the kampung people & self-working people..
    FG never have the rakyat at all level in mind when tabling budget..its an obvious of FG.

    FG never focus on minimizing dependency on fossil fuel by upgrading the intergrated railway systems using electric. Instead, FG want to purchase more of that fucking diesel guzzling busses!

    FG love building more flyover & hiway or another MRR2 & more collapse building project etc... for whom?


    I hate FG..I hope a new govt will not be another MFG (Mega FG)

    Quantity doesn't guarantee quality of living

    -FTG (Fuck the Govt)-

  19. I don't care about the budget...which large portions are salaries paid to unproductive UMNO staffs in the govt.
    All I know...the daily essentials have shot up by 30% in just for months...which means...RM1000 is worth RM700 to support a family.
    I am OK...I have some savings...but those fixed salaries guys are suffering...especially low and middle income group.
    Until and unless....I hear them's OK now...they can stuff their budget into their assholes.
    One working Muslim told me...he had to open a stall to sell burgers from 7pm to 1am...just to make end meets...and to sleep for few hours...then to his normal work.
    That makes me sick.

  20. Anonymous5:48 pm

    (heha) : rokok price should be HIGHER !? cannot lah bcos most smokers are NOT nonbumis man !!

  21. Anonymous5:49 pm

    (heha) : rokok price should be HIGHER !? cannot lah bcos most smokers are NOT nonbumis man !!

  22. A sweet Budget?

    If spending monies we don't have is considered sweet, then, go for it.

    I for one think the Deficit is unnecessary.

    Revenue has grown from rising crude oil prices and other commodity prices, we don't need to increase spending so much.

    Much of the spending are simply higher allocations to Ministries with non-transparent spending.

    It's just greater opportunity for corruption and mismanagement of limited resources.

    Much of the "windfall" gains from higher secular commodity prices should have been saved for lean times ahead.

    The Finance Minister cannot even balance the books when Malaysia is having its best times ever from an income perspective.

    What's going to happen to our country when "bad times" comes, when we becomes Net Oil importer?

    I for one much prefer to see the BN government reduces corruption, improve efficiencies of the public sector, in order to deliver better value to Rakyat, and still have plenty of savings for future generations.


  23. Anonymous7:54 pm

    Is there anything in the Budget at all for Scomi, which belongs to the PM's son? Here is an interview with the Son himself ...

    Q. Does Scomi makes buses?

    A. YES.

    Q What did daddy do on August 29?

    PM's son: Bus operators would be given sales tax exemption on the purchase of locally assembled new buses and Accelerated Capital Allowance on the expenditure incurred.

    Q. How else can the government help people to buy more buses?

    PM's Son: government will provide a soft loan facility of RM3bil under the Public Transportation Fund, administered by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BPMB), to finance the acquisition of buses.

    Q. Can the RM3 billion be used for anything else other than buying buses?

    PM's son: Oh yes, hehhe I forgot to highlight, it can also be used to buy RAIL assets.... heheheh.

    Q. Did Rockybru, sometime in September 2007 report on and Scomi and rail assets?

    PM's Son: Yes, but honestly... did you read my interview in Utusan, 2006, september... I dah : Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mengesahkan bahawa Scomi Group Bhd. (Scomi) tidak pernah mendapat tawaran projek kerajaan.
    Menurutnya, beliau telah meneliti laporan lengkap aktiviti perniagaan syarikat berkaitan minyak dan gas itu yang membuktikan kenyataan beliau mengenainya sebelum ini adalah benar.

    - Soldier of Fortune -

  24. sweet budget to SIL and SON.
    Transportation- who controlled?
    what the hell is 1% tax reduction!! Unless you earn like scomi or SIL income, that would be true.
    but for those who earn RM4000? that would be RM40. I can only buy pampers.

  25. Anonymous10:18 pm

    ... i have never receive any love letter from the government saying, "... sayang, you dah bayar lebih, ini duit balik ...", please lah, instead i only get,"... ini kena bayar, kalau tak suka, boleh rayu loh, selamat berkidmat untuk negara ... tak bayar tengok ...". incentive? They are only candy for show ... nothing else ... sorry to say that ... on the ground i don't feel a dam thing, except the pressure from the inflation and nothing else ... i didn't even watch the budget ... forget it ... huh ... i know there is nothing ... if you think that it will benefit a large working people, then why the slow down in growth forecast? Isn't that contradicting ...

  26. Anonymous11:43 pm

    (heha) : aab told tdm : " your sons have MORE contracts from the gmen than mine lah ! hehehe ...hahaha...!!"

  27. Anonymous12:54 pm

    The 1% relates to the top tier tax rate and only for the bracket relating to those earning RM250,000 and above a year. The middle classers like us get zip.

  28. Abang Rocky,

    Well I don't see the this is a "SWEET" budget, I rather say that it's a "CANDY PAPER" budget.

    They're want us to go and find our own sugar sweets and "balut" it with their "CANDY PAPER"!

    the 3rd PARTY

  29. Anonymous10:57 am

    usual headlines: people's budget.
    which people are they referring to? their cronies?
    cant even the last time there is something for me in the budget. none at me since this flip-flop comes to power.
    only thing that is for the people is for him only. yachts and new plane and holidays in Perth when Johor was under water.


  30. Anonymous2:14 pm

    "The amount of money earned by the Government from higher prices of cigarette and alcohol could be used to improve the transportation system"

    kehkehkeh.. nak justify minum arak ke? :p takde maknanyer.. pusing la ikut mana pun.. kehkehkeh..

    -geng tarak minum-

  31. Anonymous3:39 pm

    1% !!!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!
    Talk about "generosity"!!!???

  32. Anonymous9:45 pm

    Dear taraknama,

    What you said about the USA is true but one must remember that the latter states "joined" the union.

    However, in the case of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, no states joined Malaysia but rather formed one. That was agreed by Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak and thus we have Malaysia with every entity treated as equals as stipulated by the Constitution


  33. Anonymous5:44 pm

    BUDGET 2009 – BN’s Answer to Textbook Populist Policies

    Of late, the national conversation has been centered on the turbulent political scene. Although a section may feel enthused by these developments, few would disagree that the intense politicking over the past months has relegated the discourse on governance in the eyes of citizens and politicians alike.

    If we scrutinize the political scenario, the central theme of the current debate is the extent to which Pakatan Rakyat’s populist proposed policies appear relevant and in sync with the sentiment of the people. Budget 2009 reveals Barisan Nasional’s answer to Pakatan’s proposals that at face value, appear to have captured the hearts of many.

    Public transportation – Investing in a Much-Needed Public Good

    To be sure, the Barisan Nasional knows that it has much on its plate if it is to steer the country forwards in a time of global uncertainty. The state of public transportation is a case in point.

    The infrastructure development in Malaysia has long been touted by the Barisan Nasional government as an indication of how far the nation has come from its humble beginnings. However an area of infrastructure development that has fallen short of expectations is that of public transportation.

    The restructuring of subsidies in June appeared to elevate the issue of public transportation in the national debate, erstwhile affecting mostly the lower-income group.

    The measures revealed to tackle the public transportation woes in Budget 2009 however, offer hope to the many urban dwellers of all income groups – who now more than ever, yearn for a public transportation comparable to the rest of the nation’s infrastructure.

    The introduction of new rail cars, buses and LRT lines costing RM35 billion over 5 years is a welcome relief considering the sheer congestion that commuters face everyday during peak hours. The problem of services arriving late may also be alleviated with such a measure.

    Necessary as that step may be, the government is smarter than to think that the public transportation issue is merely one about the lack of physical trains or buses. Moreover, government cannot pretend to be the most efficient economic agent I satisfying the public’s demand. A comprehensive strategy would require policies that incentivise the private operators to improve their services. For grouses characterising means of public transport as troublesome, slow and not consumer-friendly to go away, cooperation – artificial as they may be – must be gotten from the profit-making firms themselves. It is thus comforting that the government has taken note of this and afforded bus and taxi operators through tax exemptions for asset purchases as well as road tax reduction to only RM20.

    Social Safety Net and Disposable Income

    The Budget also contains a catalogue of services in the forms of welfare aids and provisions of public goods to ensure the less well-off get a better chance at life. The Abdullah administration incidentally, has a rather impressive record in alleviating poverty, with the overall incidence of poverty of Malaysians reduced from 5.7 percent in 2004 to 3.6 percent in 2007. This decline is the result of steady economic growth as well as the implementation of various poverty eradication programmes and projects.

    According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, “hardcore poor” in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak is benchmarked at a monthly household income of RM398, RM503 and RM482, respectively. A review of 2009 Budget shows an upward revision to reflect higher cost of living and inflationary pressures for a new benchmark level of RM720, RM960 and RM830 for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, respectively or generous improvements of 81% for Peninsular Malaysia, 91% for Sabah and 72% for Sarawak.

    The Budget contains other orchestrated plans of the Government to eradicate poverty at all levels. The aspect of rural development for example, sees the Government continuing efforts to provide basic infrastructure so that poor rural communities can be best equipped to work themselves out of despondency – an example of a government that understands both its responsibilities and its limitations.

    It is important to note that such provisions in the Budget act as supplements to the already comprehensive and targeted measures taken by the government after the oft-misunderstood subsidy restructuring exercise in June 2008, which included expenditures of RM4.0 bilion for food security, RM1.5 billion for cooking oil, RM400 million for imported rice, RM200 million for flour and RM100 million for bread.

    Whilst indirect and complex steps to improve the standard of living have their merits, the government also recognises that on some level, simplicity can often win the day. The Budget reflects this understanding as it contains a reduction of income tax from 28% to 27% and 13% to 12% - depending on income categories – and an increase in the rebate amount (for those who earn those who earn RM35,000 a year and are thus taxable) from RM350 to RM400. With such direct measures that affect the disposable income, localised worldwide inflationary pressures can be faced with more readily by the taxable middle class who too, desire the government to be on their side as much as it has been with the lower-income groups.

    The Government magnanimously proposes to reduce import duties on various consumer durables from between 10% and 60% to between 5% and 30% to mitigate the impact of rising prices on consumers. These include blender, rice cooker, microwave oven and electric kettle. Also, the Government proposes full import duty exemption on several food items, which currently attract import duties of between 2% and 20%. These include vermicelli, biscuits, fruit juices and canned sweet corn.

    Currently, private passenger vehicles with diesel owned by in individuals and companies are subject to a higher road tax compared with those with petrol engines. The Government proposes to reduce the road tax on private passenger vehicles with diesel engines to be the same as those with petrol engines, effective 1 September 2008, to reflect a fairer approach given the current retail diesel and petrol prices.


  34. Anonymous5:46 pm

    Turun lagi 15 sen – PM * Jika harga minyak mentah dunia di bawah AS$109 setong

    PUTRAJAYA 4 Sept. – Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, harga runcit minyak petrol dan diesel mungkin diturunkan lagi sebanyak 15 sen daripada harga semasa, jika harga minyak mentah dunia stabil di bawah paras AS$109 setong sehingga akhir tahun ini.

    Beliau berkata, di bawah formula pengiraan subsidi bahan api, semakan semula harga runcit petrol dan diesel akan dilakukan pada 1 Oktober ini atau pertengahan bulan tersebut.

    “Harga minyak dunia turun dan naik. Kalau ia kekal AS$109 sehingga penghujung tahun ini, sudah tentu saya akan berasa amat gembira untuk mengumumkan penurunan sebanyak 15 sen daripada apa yang ada sekarang.

    “Sama-samalah kita berdoa supaya (minyak dunia) tidak naik, kalau boleh biar turun lagi,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas mempengerusikan Mesyuarat Majlis Kewangan Negara di sini hari ini.

    Perdana Menteri berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas trend harga minyak dunia pada masa ini yang menurun kepada AS$109 setong berbanding AS$115 setong dua minggu lalu.

    Abdullah berkata, harga runcit petrol dan diesel bulan lalu disemak lebih awal pada 22 Ogos bagi membolehkan rakyat mendapat tawaran terbaik dalam soal harga minyak.

    “Pada masa itu, trend harga minyak dunia menunjukkan peningkatan dan jika dilengahkan kita khuatir rakyat tidak akan mendapat manfaat apa-apa.

    “Jadi saya berpendapat, ini masa terbaik untuk membuat keputusan. Jika kita semak harga minyak pada 1 September seperti dijadualkan, ia akan meningkat sebanyak dua sen iaitu RM2.57 berbanding RM2.55 seperti diumumkan,” katanya.

    Pada 23 Ogos lalu, kerajaan menurunkan harga runcit petrol RON97 sebanyak 15 sen daripada RM2.70 seliter kepada RM2.55 seliter, manakala harga runcit diesel sebanyak lapan sen daripada RM2.58 seliter kepada RM2.50 seliter.


  35. Anonymous5:48 pm

    Rakyat Perlu Bersyukur

    PEMBENTANGAN Bajet 2009 pada Jumaat lalu merupakan satu lagi usaha kerajaan yang dilihat prihatin akan kesempitan rakyat dalam menghadapi situasi ekonomi yang makin mencabar. Selaku rakyat Malaysia, kita seharusnya bersyukur dengan pelan yang dibentangkan oleh kerajaan dalam membela nasib rakyat. Biarpun ada suara-suara sumbang yang mempertikai kerasionalan strategi kerajaan tersebut, namun, harus diingat setiap dasar yang dirangka untuk kepentingan umum dan mungkin
    tidak dapat memenuhi kehendak semua pihak.

    Penantian kakitangan awam berkaitan dengan bonus terjawab juga akhirnya dengan pengumuman sebulan bonus atau minimum RM1,000. Diharap hadiah ini dapat dijadikan pemangkin kepada kakitangan awam berusaha meningkatkan kualiti kerja mereka selaras dengan aspirasi kerajaan memperkasa perkhidmatan awam. Kakitangan awam seharusnya menyedari bahawa setiap imbuhan yang diberikan oleh kerajaan datangnya daripada wang rakyat. Kini tibalah masanya kakitangan awam berkhidmat dengan lebih bersemangat selaras dengan matlamat rakyat dan negara.

    Bajet prihatin merupakan ungkapan yang tepat kerana jelas bajet kali ini mencakupi semua aspek yang dijangka akan memacu pertumbuhan ekonomi dalam jangka pendek dan panjang. Peruntukan yang besar dalam sektor pendidikan menunjukkan kesungguhan kerajaan menjayakan dasar pembangunan modal insan yang mampan. Perhatian yang diberikan oleh kerajaan ini sewajarnya dioptimumkan oleh para pelajar dan guru bagi memartabatkan sistem pendidikan negara supaya kualiti pendidikan negara selari dengan pembangunan negara.


    Perhatian dan peruntukan yang besar ke atas Sabah dan Sarawak mungkin akan dipolitikkan kelak oleh mereka yang buta prinsip ekonominya. Sewajarnya Sabah dan Sarawak layak menerima bantuan yang besar selaras dengan keperluan kedua-dua negeri tersebut. Usaha kerajaan menghapuskan kemiskinan tegar dan membantu para petani juga dilihat sebagai keikhlasan kerajaan membantu golongan tersebut.

    Bajet 2009 juga merupakan bajet yang seimbang di mana golongan kurang upaya (OKU) turut menerima perhatian sewajarnya. Peranan kerajaan dalam mempromosikan dan memperkasa pengangkutan awam juga dilihat mampu meringankan beban rakyat dalam situasi kenaikan bahan api global dalam jangka panjang.

    Bajet ini diharap akan memberi manfaat kepada semua rakyat Malaysia. Tidak sewajarnya segelintir pihak mempersoalkan keikhlasan kerajaan membantu rakyat. Mungkin akan ada suara yang hanya tahu membangkang tanpa memperlihatkan usaha membantu kerajaan dalam memajukan system pentadbiran negara.

    Kerajaan sebagai pemegang amanah rakyat dalam hal ini telah sedaya upaya mengagihkan kewangan negara dan menyamaratakan agihan ekonomi. Kita sebagai rakyat sewajarnya meningkatkan produktiviti dan kualiti kerja sebagai balasan kepada apa yang dikurniakan.

    Mungkin ada yang tidak berpuas hati dengan bajet yang dibentangkan tetapi jelas mesej kerajaan tersebut akhirnya akan membuatkan semua rakyat Malaysia hidup dalam keadaan aman dan makmur.

    Biasanya rakyat akan bertanyakan ”lihat apa kerajaan boleh bagi dalam bajet” dan kini kita telah menerima. Waktunya kini kita pula member kepada negara apa yang sewajarnya kita berikan melalui kesungguhan bekerja, peningkatan kualiti kerja dan tenaga yang terdaya demi kemajuan negara.

    Terima kasih kerajaan kerana memberi perhatian kepada rakyat. Ayuh rakyat Malaysia semua kita membantu memajukan ekonomi negara dan memperkukuhkan lagi perpaduan demi kesinambungan agama, anak bangsa dan negara.


  36. Anonymous5:49 pm

    Bajet 2009 ceriakan petani

    ALOR STAR - Sebagai negeri pengeluar padi yang menyumbang kepad lebih 40 peratus pengeluaran beras negara, kenaikan harga bahan bakar baru-baru ini sememangnya menekan para pesawah di Kedah.

    Pendapatan mereka menjadi berkurangan gara-gara terpaksa menanggung kos mengerjakan sawah yang dikatakan meningkat hampir 50 peratus berikutan kenaikan harga minyak tersebut.

    Malah sejak musim 1 2008 yang bermula pada pertengahan Julai lalu, pelbagai isu timbul berkaitan kos operasi, harga dan penjualan padi yang mengundang keresahan di kalangan petani.

    Bebanan yang terpaksa dipikul oleh pesawah sebenarnya bermula sejak menjejakkan kaki ke sawah lagi apabila kos baja dan racun melonjak tinggi melebihi seratus peratus, manakala kadar upah menuai padi pula meningkat antara 25 peratus hingga 30 peratus.

    Justeru apabila padi ingin dituai, timbul permintaan agar harga tanaman itu di negeri ini diselaraskan seperti di Selangor. Ini berikutan wujudnya perbezaan harga di antara negeri-negeri yang mana harga padi yang dibeli dari petani di Kedah dikatakan sekitar RM900 setan sementara yang dibeli daripada petani di Selangor pula RM1,280 setan.

    Bagaimanapun permintaan itu dianggap sukar untuk dilaksanakan keran harga padi dipengaruhi beberapa faktor yang berbeza mengikut kawasan. Antaranya ialah kualiti hasil tanaman itu, harga beras import dan jumlah keuntungan yang diambil oleh pengilang.

    Namun tercetus rasa lega dan gembira di kalangan pesawah dengan langkah kerajaan memansuhkan duti import ke atas baja dan racun seperti diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dalam Bajet 2009 pada Jumaat lalu.

    Menurut Pengerusi Penyelaras Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan (PPK) Lembaga Kemajuan Pertanian Muda (MADA), Ahmad Radin, 68, pendekatan yang dilakukan kerajaan itu dapat meningkatkan pendapatan para petani sebagaimana yang diharapkan oleh mereka selama ini.

    Menurutnya, pemansuhan duti import baja dan racun dapat membawa kepada pengurangan harga bahan itu di pasaran tempatan, sekali gus membantu meminimumkan kesan kenaikan kos input tani yang ditanggung oleh mereka.

    “Kegelisahan para pesawah ketika ini ialah merekadibebani dengan peningkatan kos operasimengerjakan bendang setiap musim selain kos sara hidup yang semakin tinggi.

    “Kami menyambut baik langkah kerajaan memansuhkan duti import ke atasbaja dan racun perosak kerana ia akan membantu mengurangkan kos input pertanian,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

    Ahmad Radin berkata, para petani turut gembira dengan pengumuman Perdana Menteri bahawa sebanyak RM475 juta diperuntukkan bagi bantuan input pertanian, baja dan racun perosak untuk meringankan beban mereka.Langkah itu, katanya, menunjukkan keprihatinan kerajaan untuk memnasib para petani.

    “Oleh itu, kami berharap peruntukan berkenaan dapat digunakan dengan sebaik mungkin agar ia benar-benar memberi manfaat kepada pesawah,” katanya yang menjadi Pengerusi Penyelaras PPK MADA sejak 25 tahun dulu.