Malaysia is debating whether the Budget 2019 is a ‘people’s budget’ or a ‘people’s hardship’ budget.
In the end, it is a people’s burdening budget says, critics.
Did the Pakatan Harapan regime lose the plot?
No, they did not lose the plot. They are doing what they promised in their electoral campaign. That is redress the economic situation in Malaysia.
And if that means continue the burden on the people, then it is fine. The people also must pay the price for letting Najib Razak suck the coffers dry, don’t they? They had the chance to kick him out earlier but they tolerated him. Right?
But this budget depends heavily on taxes.
Some clever individuals will comment that all budgets depend on taxes in all countries.
But the point is taxation is haram in Islam. And those who taxes the people from their hard earned money are haramis.
There is no going back on that, even though the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia may come out with a fatwa.
They may get someone to make a ruling that taxing the ‘rakyat’ is halal. But it will not mean anything.
Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad will probably say if there is no taxation policy then the government should close the doors.
Anwar Ibrahim and his team of hard core thinkers will fuss about this. They may say the writer has a personal agenda. But let us think rationally for a minute.
Islam condemns taxation. Particularly personal taxations. Tell me it is not true, I will show you a liar. If you do not understand, then put it this way: Tax is not halal in Islam.
And altogether taxing non-Muslims heavily while Muslims sit back and enjoy the ‘haram’ money is un-Islamic.
But there are ways for the fat-greasy-lazy cow of a government to earn more money without taxing the people and burdening them. That is if it’s done progressively.
No one would expect the government to suddenly declare the country tax-free. Gila ka? Rome was not built in one day.
Moving away from burdening the people in slow steps would be the right way.
Malaysia claims to be a Muslim nation – de-facto that is – with its majority Muslim population. And the Muslims have a greater share of the spoils but a lesser share of the burdens say, critics.
This goes with the obvious facts in this country: The most taxed people are not the Muslims. They are mostly the Chinese business community.
Most of the money from the non-Muslims may come from activities deemed ‘haram’ in Islam. Fine, the government says that says it’s not. Fine.
But for how long can you bully the nation?
I may sound extremist in my views. But in my book ‘Islam Inc’ I dissected the points that in Islam, money is free.
The PH regime started well by calling for donations from the people to save the country from ex-PM Najib Razak’s disastrous reign.
They should not stop there.
If Lim Guan Eng would have added a ‘Dana Bajet’ in his speech, it would be a great success.
The fact that it would call on the free will of the people to eliminate the burdens on the government, many would contribute.
And the government could also reduce the fat cow. Follow the French. They are compensating people to leave the civil service.
Some would say it will not work. Dr Mahathir did it before. At the height of the 1998 crisis, his government created the Dana Harta. It worked. This is the Islamic way for a regime to raise ‘free money’.
It does not burden the people to give. Because in Islam, giving is a divine action. But taxing the people is haram and is a legal process in which law-abiding citizens may get entangled.
Taxation is sourced from non-Islamic economic principles. Some say it is a Jew invention or some bad guys idea of burdening the people to feed a lazy bunch of Ministers.
But alas. The PH regime is no better than the former regimes and the pro-taxation governments across the globe.
We all know that taxes save the government a lot of time to really think about new sources of income.
A government is an entity that does not produce a thing at all.
Have you seen a government factory? A government plantation that benefits the people? Or a government agency that produces anything that benefits the people in terms of consumption?
The government is incapable of doing anything but collect taxes. A Muslim majority government in Malaysia will thus depend heavily on taxes.
They tax the non-Muslims heavily. The Muslims get away with it dandy, though some converts their taxes to the Zakat. This is a cheeky way to get away with it too.
This is not only an unfair situation but excuse me, as a Muslim I believe it is a deal for the ‘harami’.
Now, will the PH really think harder on how not to burden the ‘rakyat’ and how to earn their dues with new revenue sources?
Let us see.