Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan claims that the 2019 Budget’s theme is not in line with the fiscal policy the government wishes to implement. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
SEREMBAN, Nov 4 — Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan claims that the 2019 Budget’s theme of “A Resurgent Malaysia, A Dynamic Economy, A Prosperous Society” is not in line with the fiscal policy the government wishes to implement.He said by placing the country’s fiscal position and economy at a higher risk of instability with a fiscal management that was once again tied to the global oil market, the reality was that Malaysia’s economy had become less dynamic.“The government has estimated this year’s fiscal deficit to be at 3.7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, which is much higher than the 2.8 per cent forecast under the 2018 Budget.“A 3.7 per cent deficit is equivalent to RM53.3 billion, or RM13 billion higher than last year’s deficit, and is the largest deficit in the country’s history. This also means the government will continue to take on new debts,” Mohamad said in a post on his Facebook account today.He said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s tabling of the budget’s measures, incentives and initiatives on last Friday did not present a clear direction for the country’s fiscal policy, nor was it organised or visionary.Mohamad also claimed that the proposed fiscal policy did not give enough consideration to Malaysia’s position as a small open economy.“The government’s fiscal policy is not taking into account rising global economic risks where the probability of a new financial crisis occurring soon is supported by the latest data.“The government seems to think that the country’s fiscal management is only based on the domestic economic situation without considering external factors or implications on the (economic) stability and resilience,” he said.Mohamad opined that there should be an urgent need for commitment towards fiscal consolidation when formulating the country’s economic policy as the external current account balance was expected to shrink.“This (commitment) can be seen as an assurance that repayment of government debt can be sourced domestically,” he said.Mohamad also claimed the initiatives for the people as outlined in the budget were too insignificant to meaningfully stimulate the economy.“The focus on providing a social safety net for the low-income group has been set aside for a corporate or business friendly agenda.“Therefore, the aspiration of a ‘prosperous society’ is not significant enough to be a main theme for the 2019 Budget,” he added. — Bernama [...]
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Suicide rates tend to rise during months with above-normal temperatures, according to a study published Monday that offers a new understanding of the potential link between climate change and mental health.
The article, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analyzed data from thousands of American and Mexican neighborhoods over several decades and found that when temperatures rose 1 degree Celsius above the average in a given month, suicide rates climbed by about 0.7% in the U.S. and 2.1% in Mexico.
The researchers’ analysis of “depressive language” across 600 million social media updates suggested that overall mental wellbeing deteriorated during periods of higher than average temperatures as well.
The researchers, who controlled for other factors while examining the link between monthly temperatures and suicide rates, concluded that “suicide rates in both a developed and a middle-income country are robustly associated with local temperatures.”
The study’s authors predict that “unmitigated climate change” could result in between 9,000 and 40,000 more suicides in the U.S. and Mexico over the next three decades, “representing a change in suicide rates comparable to the estimated impact of economic recessions, suicide prevention programs or gun restriction laws.”
Recent studies have found that the Earth’s global temperature is on track to increase by more than 2 degrees Celsius over the rest of the century.
“The large magnitude of our results adds further impetus to better understand why temperature affects suicide and to implement policies to mitigate future temperature rise,” reads the study.
However, correlation does not imply causation, and many disparate factors contribute to suicide risk.
Several studies have shown links between climate change and mental health, whether direct or indirect. The study’s authors pointed to research from India that showed a link between crop-damaging temperatures and suicide rates.
This study’s authors focused on suicide since it is one of the top causes of death worldwide, particularly in wealthier nations. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the suicide rate increased by more than 25% between 1999 and 2016.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. [...]
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