Politics Weirdness

JAKIM’s budget this year is more than double one ministry’s budget. Can you guess which?

It seems lately that there’s always something to complain about in Malaysia, and with the recent announcement of Budget 2022, some have complained that it’s not very reflective of Keluarga Malaysia.

wah the concept almost as much fail as the logo

One of the more recent gripes was about JAKIM’s budget, which was increased from RM943 million last year to RM956.6 million this year. And while the Religious Affairs Minister Idris Ahmad had explained that the increase was to cover the department’s operational costs, like rental and programs organized by the department, some weren’t convinced.

Perhaps the biggest gripe about this allocation is that we don’t know why JAKIM needs that much money in the first place, or what they even do with it. Some had pointed out that religious matters are mostly under state purview anyway, so the large budget for a federal religious body is questionable. Others are worried that the money won’t be used to address real problems.

“That’s too much money for them. Will the money benefit just those in Jakim (the federal department of Islamic development), or will it filter out to the benefit of the whole country?” – Tawfik Ismail, former UMNO MP, to FMT.

We’ll let them figure that out among themselves, but it did got us thinking: how much budget did some interesting gomen departments get this year? And by interesting, we mean that it’s interesting to guess what they do to justify their budgets.

we never did traffic surveys, so we dunno

Anyways, we went into the Budget 2022 documents, picked out some departments/items, and see how much they got this year compared to last year. To start with, here are JAKIM’s budget this year and their functions:

 

0. JAKIM: RM956,600,000 (0.3% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) is under the Prime Minister’s Department, B/P6 in the Budget.

According to the information found in the budget documents, JAKIM’s functions are (roughly translated):

  • Reinforcing the forming and standardizing of sharia law in Malaysia;
  • Reinforcing the adjustment of Islamic administration nationwide; and
  • Reinforcing the adjustment and development of Islamic education at the state and federal levels.

This year, their total budget increased by 1.4% from last year, an additional RM13.5 million.

 

1. FINAS: RM35,000,000 (0.01% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

The National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS) is under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, B/P47 in the Budget.

Of all the departments we’ve looked at, FINAS has the most verbose description of its functions. It’s almost as if they’re compensating for something. We won’t be putting the direct translations here to save space, but essentially they suggest policies, encourage, control, and promote things related to the film industry in Malaysia, as well as record some events for archiving purposes.

This year, their total budget remain unchanged from last year.

 

2. ISIS: RM5,000,000 (0.002% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

No, not that ISIS. This is the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia (ISIS), and maybe it’s not really a gomen department per se. It was listed under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, B/P13 in the Budget, but we’re not sure whether it’s just the gomen just paying them for research or something.

Regardless of that, according to one site, ISIS is “an autonomous and non-profit organisation” that’s engaged in “a wide range of activities focusing on objective and independent policy research and fostering dialogue and debate between the public sector, the private sector and academia.”

This year, their total budget is increased by RM5 million from none the previous year. According to a news portal, ISIS seemed to have been troubled in recent years, leading to their funds being cut by the previous government. It seems that ISIS is suddenly back, according to this year’s budget.

 

3. GIACC: RM38,972,500 (0.01% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

The Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) is under the Prime Minister’s Department,B/P6 in the Budget.

According to the budget documents, GIACC’s functions are:

  • Advising the Government in aspects of governance, integrity and anti-corruption;
  • Planning appropriate strategies and action plans for execution at the national level;
  • Standardizing the execution of governance, integrity and anti-corruption activities by executive agencies;
  • Supervising and evaluating current performance and the effectiveness of initiatives by executive agencies, and;
  • Reporting the results of actions regarding the aspects of governance, integrity, and anti-corruption.

This year, their total budget increased by 1.3% from last year, an increase of RM493,100.

 

4. Ministry of National Unity: RM447,917,400 (0.1% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

The Ministry of National Unity is B/P14 in the Budget.

Based on the document, the ministry have three activities they’re working on:

  1. National unity and integrity, i.e. strengthening and increasing those based on the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara principles.
  2. Society relations, i.e. preserving, increasing and reinforcing interfaith connections and planning ways to resolve interfait conflict.
  3. Society development, i.e. planning and adjusting community issues and seeing the effectiveness of policies, initiatives and social programs.

This year, their total budget increased by 5.8% from last year, an increase of RM24,629,900.

 

5. DBP: RM60,000 (0.02% of the total budget)

Data from Budget 2020.

The Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka (DBP) is under the Ministry of Education, B/P63 in the Budget.

Their functions include:

  • Building, expanding, peopling and normalizing the Malay language;
  • Reinforcing national literature through the building and expanding of literati as well as producing high quality literature products;
  • Increasing the quality and quantity of Malay publications in all fields including the use of ICT as a medium of service; and
  • Building the staff’s competence in core and support work.

This department feels the most justified out of all the others – they have been keeping the national language alive, after all – yet this year, their total budget is decreased by 42.3%, a reduction of RM44 million.

 

Anyways, here’s all of the 5 departments’ budgets placed next to JAKIM’s.

Wow. This was just meant to be a lighthearted article, but it’s a good opportunity to point out that…

 

A budget reflects the government’s priorities

A budget is not simply the government giving out money. Whether the people in government realize it or not, a budget shows everyone what the government’s objectives are, how they’re planning to achieve those objectives, and where their priorities lie.

JAKIM’s budget, which is part of the RM1.5 billion allocated to Islamic affairs this year, only make up 0.5% of the total budget. For comparison, here are the allocations given to some ministries as a percentage of the total budget:

  • rural development: 3.4%
  • environment and water: 1.3%
  • health: 10.4%
  • education: 16.9%

Based on these numbers, does the government have their priorities straight? That’s up to your interpretation, we guess. In the meantime, if you want to see some of the things in Budget 2022 that can benefit the rakyat, consider reading our other article here.

 

NAH, BACA:
Pantun Pemimpin Comel 2015 (with pictures!)

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