"All government contracts must also be tendered in an open, competitive and transparent manner to reduce expenditure and prevent certain parties such as cronies from benefiting. "I will use my eight years prior experience as finance minister to craft the budget in a more responsible and resilient manner," he said Tuesday during a press conference at the party headquarters here. Among measures he outlined were ways to stimulate local and foreign investment, reduce the 4.8% deficit of the gross domestic product, reduce fuel prices and give tax rebates as a business incentive.
Others include curbing public expenditure on mega projects and reforming the system of awarding Approved Permits. The position of Malays and bumiputras, he said, would not be compromised but added that an affirmative policy would be in place to help the poor regardless of race. Anwar said the fasting month had not changed Pakatan's Sept 16 plans and said he had met with some Barisan Nasional MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula recently.
"It (fasting month) is not a problem. Parliament is only on leave. It is still there. Fourteen days is a long time. Even Winston Churchill said seven days in politics is a long time," he added. Anwar also denied rumours that he went to Istana Negara Tuesday to present 30 names to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong but cheekily added: "Not yet". Describing the Government's Budget 2009 as "illusionary", Anwar said it failed to address key issues such as corruption, national unity and improving living standards. - THe STaR ONLiNe