Author Topic: BUDGET 2018  (Read 1486 times)

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BUDGET 2018
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:35:34 PM »


预算案
首相订10月27日
国会提呈2018财政预算案
419点看 2017年6月15日
(布城15日讯)首相拿督斯里纳吉将在10月27日向国会提呈2018年财政预算案。

财政预算案咨询会议主题是“建立国家前景”。


纳吉今早主持2018年财政预算案咨询会议时,作出宣布。

他说,咨询会议是公共,私人领域及非政府组织提出看法及回馈的平台,也是政府优先关注人民的开放政策。

“大马独立巳久,今天我国经济多元化取得良好进展,包括经济收入,财务及赤字都良好的控制,使我国能夠在全球及内需的经济面对挑战。”



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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 02:02:04 PM »



Budget 2018 to be tabled on October 27
Updated 2 hours ago · Published on 15 Jun 2017 11:45AM · 0 comments
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Budget 2018 to be tabled on October 27
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak says the government is meeting stakeholders before finalising next year’s budget. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 15, 2017.

BUDGET 2018 will be tabled on October 27, said the Star Online today.

The government will be holding dialogues with stakeholders before it finalises Budget 2018, it said.

“We want to hear everyone out because we are a government that is open and puts the people first,” said Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also finance minister.

“We want to ensure we present a budget that meets the need of each segment of the population,” he said at the Budget 2018 consultation session.


According to Najib, the economy grew beyond expectation in the first quarter of 2017, recording growth of 5.6%.

Domestic demand continued to anchor growth, supported mainly by private consumption, which expanded at a faster pace of 6.6% while private investment surged to 12.9%.

A new milestone for export performance was recorded in March, breaching the RM80 billion mark for the first time, he said.

At the same time, foreign direct investments rose to RM17 billion in the first quarter of 2017, mainly in the services, mining and manufacturing sectors. – June 15, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 09:10:30 AM »



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Malaysia 2018 Budget deficit likely in target of -3% of GDP, says CIMB Research
Surin Murugiah
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June 16, 2017 08:16 am MYT
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): CIMB IB Research said Malaysia’s path of fiscal consolidation remains on track, with the 2018 budget deficit likely to be in the ballpark of this year’s target of -3.0% of gross domestic product.

In an economic update June 15, the research house said that policy priorities in Budget 2018 may pay more attention to longer-term structural issues than in past years, in a prelude to the TN50 plan next year.

It said prudent fiscal and monetary management remain key in mitigating external volatility, particularly risks associated with fiscal governance and external payments position.

In the report following the 2018 Budget Consultation at Putrajaya chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the research house said it was heartened by the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, in particular by the Prime Minister’s comments that the government intends to resist the temptation to increase spending beyond fiscal targets ahead of the general elections, which are due by August 24, 2018.

"Coming on the heels of June 14’s guidance that the Federal Reserve intends to continue US monetary policy normalisation, we believe that prudent fiscal management and vigilant monetary policymaking are key defences in mitigating external volatility, as investors and ratings agencies continue to closely monitor risks associated with fiscal governance and the external payments position,” it said.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 08:59:52 AM »



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Budget deficit target to remain intact, says RHB Research
Surin Murugiah
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June 30, 2017 07:06 am MYT
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 30): RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd said the Malaysian government is unlikely to make any revisions to its 2017 Budget for now, despite a sharp pull-back in oil prices of late.

In an economic update today, the research house said if assuming oil prices were to creep lower and average about US$40/bbl in the 2H, the average full year would still be slightly above US$46/bbl, which is marginally higher than Ministry Of Finance’s (MOF) forecast of US$45/bbl for the Budget 2017 tabled in Oct 2016.

“In any case, even if there is a revision, we believe it would likely be done in the forthcoming 2018 Budget on 27 Oct rather than now,” it said.

RHB Research said that with the assumption that if oil prices would to continue to stay low and average at about US$40 per bbl for 2H17F (compared with an average of US$52.80 estimated forin 1H), prices for the full year would still be averaging at around US$46.40 per bbl.

The research house said this was still marginally higher than the MOF’s assumption of US$45 per bbl for oil prices for the year.

“This suggests that there is no need for the Government to make any revisions to its Budget 2017 as it did previously when oil prices fell sharply.

“We believe the Government is still on track to achieve its budget deficit target of 3% of GDP in 2017 (-3.1% in 2016).

“It would therefore not have to cut its expenditure akin to what had happened in 4Q16, which posed a drag to the overall economic growth.

“In 1Q17, the Government registered a deficit of 6.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), or RM20.2 billion, deteriorating from a deficit of 6.1% of GDP, or RM17.7 billion, in the same period of last year, mainly on the back of higher expenses during the quarter, while revenue collection fell,” it said.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2017, 04:48:51 PM »




Malaysians Must Know the TRUTH
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2017
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO NAJIB’S BUDGET 2018 WHEN OIL FALLS BELOW US$40? OIL PRICES DROP 3% ON RISING GLOBAL SUPPLIES

NEW YORK – Oil prices settled nearly 3 percent lower on Friday as rising U.S. production as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high cast doubt over efforts by producers to curb global oversupply.
Brent crude settled down $1.40, or 2.9 percent, at $46.71 a barrel, after falling to $46.28, its lowest in more than a week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures finished $1.29, or 2.8 percent, lower at $44.23 a barrel, after trading as low as $43.78.
Both benchmarks posted a sixth weekly decline in the past seven weeks with WTI down 3.9 percent on the week and Brent off 2.5 percent.
“The stream of relentless supply continues,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at Clipperdata.
He said OPEC exports were 2 million barrels per day (bpd)higher in June than in 2016, despite of an extension of a 1.8 million bpd production cut deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“We’ve seen exports last month from OPEC much stronger than they were in April and May, seemingly indifferent to the OPEC production cut deal,” Smith said.
Reuters oil data showed OPEC production is now at the highest level this year.
Russia, which is cooperating with OPEC in a deal to stem production, said it was ready to consider revising parameters of the deal if needed.
A group of oil-producing countries monitoring the deal will meet on July 24 in Russia, when they could recommend adjusting the pact.
Meanwhile, U.S. producers seemed undeterred by lower prices with drillers adding seven oil rigs this week, according to energy services company Baker Hughes, bringing the total rig count up to 763, the most since April 2015. [RIG/U]

On Thursday, U.S. government data showed that U.S. oil production rose 1 percent to 9.34 million bpd last week after a drop the previous week due to maintenance work and storm shutdowns.
“It takes somewhat lower prices to slow down U.S. production,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
Amidst rising U.S. production, the market largely ignored a 6.3 million-barrel slump in U.S. crude inventories last week to 502.9 million barrels, the lowest since January.
U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said it expected WTI prices to remain below $50 until mid-2018, adding that “if output cuts from the OPEC are not enough, U.S. shale production will need to slow down for a chance of a balanced market in 2018.”
Money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to July 3, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said. The increase came after hedge funds and other money managers cut U.S. crude net longs to a nine-month low in the previous week.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 08:52:05 AM »



 61 2 0 64
PM: Budget 2018 to focus on living cost, housing issues
Bernama | September 8, 2017
Najib Razak says government will address not only macro figures, but also focus on people's economy.
najib-housing

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will place more emphasis on the cost of living and housing issues in Budget 2018 in an effort to improve the standard of living and well-being of the people while taking into account favourable macro growth.
Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council, which met today, felt that the government needed to address not only macro growth figures, but also focus on the people’s economy.
“We also talked about our country’s economic position by taking into account several favourable macro-factors, including the second-quarter growth rate this year which reached 5.8%.

“We’ve achieved the largest amount of international reserves in our history… and also for the past two days, we’ve seen the strengthening of the ringgit becomes a reality,” he told a press conference after chairing the BN supreme council meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn here today.
The ringgit closed at a 10-month-high of 4.2080/2110 against the US dollar on Thursday from 4.2370/2400 on Wednesday, amid encouraging and conducive domestic economic data.
Malaysia’s international reserves also rose to US$100.5 billion (RM431.7 billion) on Aug 30, 2017 compared with US$100.4 billion (RM431.0 billion) on Aug 15, 2017
Najib, who is also BN chairman and finance minister, said the strengthening of the ringgit, as well as the country’s economic growth, showed that the policies adopted by the government were on the right track.
“And this gives greater positive impact and momentum to the country’s economy,” he added

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 08:36:39 AM »




Ahead of Budget 2018, Najib offers RM3 billion election goodies
Asila Jalil
Sheridan Mahavera
Chan Kok Leong
Asila Jalil, Sheridan Mahavera, Chan Kok Leong
Updated one hour ago · Published on 4 Oct 2017 7:00AM · 0 comments
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Ahead of Budget 2018, Najib offers RM3 billion election goodies
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak is eyeing key voting blocs of Felda settlers and veterans in Budget 2018. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 4, 2017.

WITH 11 months to go before his mandate expires, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional government has pledged RM3.182 billion in projects and programmes to help win the next general election.

Najib, who is also finance minister, is working on Budget 2018 to be tabled on October 27, which analysts expect to be an “election budget” before GE14 has to be called by next August.

His political foes in Pakatan Harapan have yet to offer election goodies or a proposed national budget as in previous years but have listed out some policy measures and reforms.

With surgical precision, Najib’s financial pledges target settlers in the Felda areas and retired armed forces personnel – all key voting blocs.   


In July, he announced a package of six incentives for more than 110,000 settler families worth RM1.59 billion. They include debt forgiveness, grants for replanting, housing loans and a special RM5,000 payout.

Najib announced that some 80,000 non-pensionable armed forces veterans older than 60 will receive payouts under the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) scheme.

Those who qualify for BR1M will receive RM1,200 while those who don’t will get RM600 as long as they are older than 60. The total allocation for this is RM85.8 million.

He also announced a rise of between RM300 and RM800 in pension for veterans who receive between RM500 and RM2,000.

Najib, who is gunning for his second mandate, has also earmarked RM1 billion in various programmes under the Malaysian Indian Blueprint aimed at uplifting the poorest segments of the 1.7 million-strong community.

He also announced a slew of housing projects in Langkawi, a religious school in Penang and two new hospitals in Kelantan. Penang has been under a DAP-led government for the past two elections while PAS has ruled Kelantan since 1990.

The RM3.182 billion was culled from media reports this year but does not include the controversial RM55 billion East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) from Port Klang to Kuantan and the RM43 billion Malacca Gateway Project.

Critics have challenged the price tags for the ECRL and Malacca Gateway projects and their purported benefits to Malaysians as they both involved large China companies.

In contrast, PH’s offers have not come with price tags but its concepts are meant to change how various sections of the government function.

Its most eye-catching promises have been to abolish the much-maligned goods and services tax (GST) and to abolish tolls on the North South Expressway.

The Najib administration said the GST has earned the government RM41.2 billion in 2016.

As part of its plan to embed good governance and fight graft, PH has said it will make key bodies independent of the executive. These include the judiciary, the legislature, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

PH leaders have also promised and to start a royal commission of inquiry into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, which has seen an estimated RM39 billion being stolen or wasted through mismanagement at the state fund.

Last month, PH launched a separate manifesto for Sabah and Sarawak in which it promised among others, to appoint a separate deputy prime minister’s post for the two states.

It also vowed to increase oil royalties to Sabah from 5% to 20% and to give the region more autonomy to enact policies on education, tourism, health and transport. – October 4, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 12:26:13 PM »




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Budget 2018 to be mildly positive for market, says CIMB Research
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October 09, 2017 11:51 am MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 9): CIMB Research is expecting Budget 2018, which is scheduled to be tabled on Oct 27, to be mildly positive for the market.

The research house said the potential beneficiaries of Budget 2018 include the consumer, construction, property and healthcare sectors.

In its strategy note dated Oct 6, analyst Ivy Ng Lee Fang expected Budget 2018 to lift social assistance and cash transfers to the civil service, lower-income households, households employed in the agriculture sector, Felda settlers and army veterans, among others.

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"We expect Budget 2018 to be mildly positive for the market via a boost in consumer sentiment," she said.

Ng said the government may also look to ease the financial burdens of families and dependants via personal income tax reliefs.

"This may benefit the consumer companies under our coverage like Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Kawan Food Bhd, CCK Consolidated Holdings Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, Bison Consolidated Bhd, Berjaya Food Bhd and 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd," she said.

The research house said the consumer sector is likely a beneficiary of social assistance from the government.

"We expect the government to address the lack of affordable housing supply by expediting the 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA)," it said.

Ng said other potential measures include improving access to end-financing for affordable housing via the Rent-to-Own scheme to affordable non-PRIMA property developments, an extension of the full waiver of stamp duty for first-time home buyers and setting up an agency to coordinate the provision of affordable housing.

"This may benefit Mah Sing Group Bhd, S P Setia Bhd, LBS Bina Group Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Lafarge Malaysia Bhd," it said.

Commenting on the education and healthcare matter, Ng said the sectors may be boosted given its far-reaching benefits for the broad population.

"We expect the education assistance such as student debit card and schooling assistance programme to be extended," Ng said.

Moreover, the technology, manufacturing and logistics companies could benefit from the government's plans to grow a digital economy.

"We expect Budget 2018 to provide tax incentives, investment grants, and capital allowances to assist in the development of an ecosystem for the digital economy, including the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), e-commerce, high tech manufacturing, robotics, automation, big data and artificial intelligence," it said.

Ng said the government is unlikely to raise sin taxes, i.e. taxes for the tobacco, brewery and gaming sectors, as a further increase in such taxes will only divert the trades to smugglers and underground operators.

"This will be neutral for gaming (Genting Bhd, Magnum Bhd and Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd), tobacco (British American Tobacco (M) Bhd) and brewery stocks (Carlsberg Brewery (M) Bhd and Heineken Malaysia Bhd) under our coverage," it said.

The contractors are also expected to benefit from the pipeline of infrastructure and construction projects, which is expected to be mentioned in the Budget 2018.

"New contracts which have not been awarded and are slated for implementation in 2018 include the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), MRT 3 Circle Line, and KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR)," it said.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2017, 01:30:47 PM »




What to expect from the budget
BUSINESS NEWS
Saturday, 21 Oct 2017

by fintan ng


Education, affordable housing and healthcare services among issues to be addressed

EVERY year, the tabling of the Government’s budget in Parliament is scrutinised to see what sectors of the economy and segments of society are going to benefit from the incentives, tax breaks, spending or other measures that will be doled out.

This year the scrutiny will be more intense as Budget 2018 is the definitive budget before the general election is called. There are wags out there who believe that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak could even dissolve Parliament next Friday after tabling the budget. Most expect several segments of the population crucial to the Barisan Nasional’s electoral success to be showered with generosity.

But whether or not the Dewan Rakyat is dissolved, the issues that have dogged Malaysia in recent years continue to be a looming presence in politics, and these issues, together with the upcoming general election, will be reflected in Budget 2018, the theme of which is “Shaping the Future”.

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/21/what-to-expect-from-the-budget/~/media/163190a34f434d039ac5b2866f1f1274.ashx


Lee:It's about continuing to re-engineer our strategies and re-shaping the state of the nation's competivenes in the era if digitalisation.
Socio Economic Research Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie says the budget should contain short-and medium-term initiatives and action plans to re-position the country for the future. “It’s about continuing to re-engineer our strategies and re-shaping the state of the nation’s competitiveness in the era of digitalisation and the quicken pace of technology disruption. Tax certainty continues to play high on the wish list,” he says.

Lee, who expects the budget deficit to improve to 2.8% of gross domestic product (from 3% of GDP this year), says the Government should continue to stay on the path of fiscal consolidation to ensure optimal deployment of resources and preserving fiscal stability. He adds that government debt, which stood at RM685.1bil or 52.3% of GDP as at end-June and the rise in contingent liabilities (RM195.7bil or 15% of GDP as at end-March must be closely monitored).

Lee points out that Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s rising dividend contribution to the Government to RM16bil from RM13bil together with the broad-based goods and services tax (GST, expected to bring in more than RM42bil this year) will ensure a steady flow of revenue. “It’s important not to overspend and plug leakages,” he says.

Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd chief economist Nor Zahidi Alias says there is no rush to balance the budget by 2020, as originally planned. He is comfortable with the budget deficit as long as the trend is pointing to a lower deficit trend.

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/21/what-to-expect-from-the-budget/~/media/b786545dcb554b57885511371cae6193.ashx


Nor Zahidi: I personally think there is a need to balance the reduction of the budget deficit and at the same time support the economy.
Bread-and-butter issues will dominate this budget just as it has in previous budgets going back to the period of the mid-2000s when steadily increasing oil prices pushed everyday prices up and government measures were needed to mitigate the rising costs. Now oil prices are rising again but the subsidies have either been abolished or reduced – this is good for government revenue but bad for ordinary wage earners and the economy.

Why bad? Wage earners continue to be under pressure from the rising cost of living despite the economy performing better in the first-half of this year. Many cannot feel that wages have risen, despite data recently published by the Statistics Department showing that they have. If wage earners feel they are under pressure, they will cut down on spending, and that is bad for an economy that is increasingly reliant on private consumption to fuel growth.

A related issue is medical and healthcare cost inflation. As Malaysians increasingly age, they will need to have reliable funds for medical emergencies but many do not, resorting only to their pensions and Employees Provident Fund. There is an urgent need to address this because the government healthcare system will be swamped should more people resort to government hospitals and clinics. There is a need to have some sort of national healthcare insurance plan.

Job security is another issue that economists are saying will be addressed and this will include the role of technology. Job security is a major worry today for many employees and not only are the unskilled or semi-skilled getting retrenched, there is a need to address the jobless rate among graduates.

Social policies

Because the general election is just around the corner, economists believe that a budget centring on social policies reflective of the concerns over rising cost of living will be given priority. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd analyst Barnabas Gan says the budget will emphasise aid to the low and middle income groups. These income groups, known as the B40 and M40, make up four-fifths of all Malaysian households and have felt the brunt of the inflation.

Gan expects civil servants to be given assistance too as well as small-medium enterprises. “Statistically, the Government has already distributed RM5.9bil and RM6.8bil in 2016 and 2017, respectively, through its 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BR1M programme, which we think will recur into 2018 (potentially having an allocation above RM7.5bil),” he says.

Gan expects the budget to emphasise three key areas – education and training, affordable housing and the upgrading of healthcare services. “These could include higher expenditure on healthcare and education subsidies into the next year, similar to what was seen in the previous election Budget 2014,” he says, adding that a higher sum may be allocated for the Permata programme (early child education system for the intellectually disabled) as well as increasing the number of scholarships under the MyBrain15 programme to provide support for professional education in the nation.

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/21/what-to-expect-from-the-budget/~/media/c8c9cae0549c4c94ad69c76495fed6a6.ashx


More incentives: Anthony says policies should reflect the aspirations of the TN50 plan to transform the country between 2020 and 2050.
Gan believes that affordable housing schemes may be rolled out in light of the rising property prices and first-time home owners’ struggle to obtain loans. “The aid could come in the form of reduced GST payment on housing materials, while other targeted exemptions on stamp duty and the provision of special end-financing scheme could aid home-buyers,” he says. Gan also does not rule out an extension of healthcare subsidies to defray the rising medical costs, as well as providing a sizable allocation to improve healthcare quality.

Nor Zahidi believes whether it’s an election budget or not, the emphasis will be on sustaining economic growth. “There’ll be a trickle down effect if growth can be sustained and this will be positive for the rakyat, that’s the reason why the Government is intent on sustaining growth at 5%,” he says.

Also, Nor Zahidi says sustaining growth will ensure a buffer against global headwinds. “The priority is to ensure that the domestic economy is resilient and this is not just for an election year,” he says.

The future is digital

There is a lot of expectations that given Budget 2018’s theme, there could be a lot of emphasis on the digital economy. Technology has been a bane to many industries but others have risen to take their place, leveraging on technological innovations to operate their business models.

Industries in the manufacturing sector now use 3D printing to minimise cost and artifical intelligence (AI) to manage the production process more efficiently. That has caused many job cuts while in the retail space, e-commerce platforms are giving brick-and-mortar stores that need more headcount a run for their money.

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/21/what-to-expect-from-the-budget/~/media/8556f5ef876f401795c8c50455fe455c.ashx?h=617&w=620



Lee says the digital economy is about speed, accountability and transparency with no barriers to entry. “The Government should take proactive steps to build a vibrant national innovation system. Identify frontier areas such as AI and deep learning, 3D printing, biotechnology, and human-machine interaction that can significantly reshape the economy and business model, and offer tax breaks and incentives to private players committed to embracing as well as conducting research in these fields,” he says.

Lee adds that targeted incentives and grants, investment capital allowance and high-tech industrial adjustment fund to facilitate more manufacturers, especially small-medium enterprises, to automate and embrace industrial Internet are needed.

He notes that only 30% of manufacturers have started to invest and leverage on modern technology. “The Fourth Industrial revolution is essentially about ‘smart factories’, leveraging on robotics, digitalised data censoring, the Internet of Things to reap cost savings in real-time quality control and maintenance,” he says.

Meanwhile, AmBank Research chief economist Anthony Dass says funding should be allocated to getting more and precise data on the “informal economy” that technology has engendered. He feels that better policies can be crafted should there be more data on the changing dynamics of the workforce. “We’re not capturing it right now, I don’t believe we’ve any official statistics,” he says

Anthony suggests that whether it’s two years down the road or 20 years in the future, incentives for technology companies should be looked at to spur innovation. He says that policies should reflect the aspirations of the TN50 plan to transform the country between 2020 and 2050.

 

TAGS / KEYWORDS:
Budget 2018 , Lee Heng Guie , Barnabas Gan , Anthony Dass , Spending , Fiscal


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/21/what-to-expect-from-the-budget/#0Q0GL8i6EizITtjR.99

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 06:37:43 AM »




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民生预算案但求过关?
(档案照)
评论 / 名家 最后更新 2017年10月22日 18时15分 • 评论: 孙和声 • 狂生噪语
民生预算案但求过关?

2分享
由于未来的几个月会举行大选,不少人相信10月27日的预算案,很可能是大派糖果的民生预算案。之所以,这几年来纳吉政权不但出台了节流的补贴合理化政策,也敢敢出台开源性的消费税(增值税),外加上令吉的贬值,经而引起怨声四起,若不在相当程度上抚平这些怨言的话,难免会危及政权。

只是也应看到,天下没有白吃的午餐,羊毛最终会出在羊身上,大派糖果后的財政负担最终依然得从人民身上拿回,差別只是在时间上不同而已。其实,依笔者所见,只要没有搞货真价实的根本改革,长远来看大马经济虽不至于在短期內出现危机,可长期来看,联邦政府的財政状况是不易真正改善的。这是由大马经济的性质与结构所决定的。

国人生活水平下降

实事或具体地看,自1997-1998年的亚洲金融货幣危机以来,大马的经济便从高速增长进入中速增长,且粗放式的增长模式也没出现根本的改变。在这种情况下,普罗的收入不会有大幅的实质增长,其结果便是,个人所得税在总收入占比(约13%)不会有太大的变化。此外,一贯以来,联邦政府高度依赖油气的收入,即便是在油气收入占总收入约35%的时期,预算案也是年年赤字。当这个收入占比从35%掉至15%时,其对財政的压力可想而知。

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政府虽说,合理化补贴,特別是消费税以抵消油气收入,可別忘了消费税会纯化增长,特別是在普罗收入没有显著增加的情况下。实则,若与1990年代相比,当前大马人的一般生活水平,可说是不升反降。因为一般薪资水平大体上停滯,可一般物价特別是房地產价格却涨了又涨。在一涨一停间,就拉长了收入与支出之间的差距,说白了就是薪资贬低与货幣贬值。

在1987-1997年高速增长期间,大马主要靠投资与出口来推动增长,可进入1998年后则是靠內部消费。可这个內需也到了內虚的阶段难以为继,如公共与家庭债务已剧升。当一国债务升到一定高度后,借债务来推动增长的手段便会失效,特別是增长速度也放缓的时候。

大马会在1998年后依靠內需,主因之一在于脱工业化(Re-Industrialization),也就是工业尚未发展到成熟阶段便倒退,是种过早倒退。这也是投资与出口大幅放缓的结构性因素。

內卷化现象

当工业不振时,就只好转靠农业与服务业,可大马的服务业大多是增值不高的低增值服务业,无助于有素质的转型与升级。易言之,这几年来的转型其实也是多是形式上从工业转入服务业,但其中含金量並不高,也就是有形缺神,量变虽有,质变不多,是种內卷化(Involution)现象。

所谓內卷化,是说一国的增长主要靠投入大量人力、物力或资本来推动,而不是靠技术进步、技术升级、创新提高生產力等高含金量的能量来推动。其实,这也是何以普罗薪资没有显著提高的根本原因。它使大马大体上成了一个低收入高生活费的经济体。高生活费是因为补贴被合理化了,与此同时税务负担却增加了,如消费税。

至于低收入,其根本原因在于,一般上言,大马是个低生產力、低技能与低增值的经济体。这个三低致成了低收入,而低收入又限制了政府的收税能力,使得个人所得税占比难以显著提高。个人所得税不能显著提高,只好另谋出路,如加强对公司或专业人士的追税。

长远来看,大马要改善公共財政还得从生產力、就业人口的实用知识与技能,以及提高经济活动的层次著手。可这需要多方面的政策改变与配套才可能实现,且不是短期內可实现的。外加上由于许多受过较高教育的劳动力,如年轻人因为学非所用,失业率较高,进而政府不得不僱用他们,可这又增加了財政上的负担。

不仅如此,由于生活费高涨及党际竞爭趋向更激烈,朝野就更要討好公务员,使公务员能得到更多好处,这自然也逼使政府得更积极追税。到最后依然得由普罗来承担这个增加的负担,形成一个恶性循环。

行政支出节节高升

据此而论,这次的预算案即便是表面上是亲民或亲公务员的,可它实质上未必会有助于提高生產力、技能与经济活动的层次,无助于在根本上解决政府的財政困境,终而变成举新债还旧债,最终把问题留给后代。

歷史地看,自1970年迄今,除了1993-1996年,大马的年度预算案均是赤字。可以说这也是许多国家的常態。在1993-1996年会出现盈余主因在于民营化,也就是政府把许多亏损累累的公共企业关掉。因1970-80年代,大马大搞官僚社会主义,与民爭利,可又把重点放在控制经济与资源分配,而非做强经济与重视生產。

其结果便是1980年代中期,联邦债务总额佔国內生產总值的100%,比今天的约70%还高。其中,有约17%为政府担保的或有债务(contingent liability)而非直接债务。今天大马的经济依然主要操控在政府手中,如上市的35家官联公司,便佔了市值的约40%。

除了长年赤字外,近年来的趋势是总支出中行政支出占比节节高升,以至发展支出节节下跌。之所以,公务员支出与养老金占比节节上升是主因。这就形成一个消费多、投资少,未来没有回酬的趋势。另一特点是除了正式与实际预算案常出现差距,而追加部份也多为消费性而非投资性支出

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 09:02:10 AM »




RM1,500 minimum wage, no GST part of Pakatan’s alternative budget
Sheridan Mahavera
Sheridan Mahavera
Updated one hour ago · Published on 23 Oct 2017 7:00AM · 0 comments
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RM1,500 minimum wage, no GST part of Pakatan’s alternative budget
The opposition wants to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 from RM1,000 to reduce Malaysia’s dependence on foreign workers. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 23, 2017.

WAGE reform and getting rid of the goods and services tax (GST) are among the highlights in an alternative budget by Pakatan Harapan that is set to rival Putrajaya’s Budget 2018.

The PH budget is also expected to tweak some of the ruling Barisan Nasional’s current policies, such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid Scheme (BR1M) and the Bumiputera entrepreneur development programme.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that the PH budget is scheduled to be unveiled on Wednesday, two days before Prime Minister Najib Razak tables the budget in Parliament.

The PH budget will also reveal the coalition’s economic policy, which is part of the comprehensive manifesto it wants to present to the public ahead of the 14th general election.


This will be PH’s second alternative budget after the new coalition was formed in 2016. It is made up of the opposition parties Bersatu, Amanah, DAP and PKR.

“A third part of the budget will also include projections of how PH’s policies will play out in real life in 2030 if they are implemented over the course of its term and how they will transform the country,”  said a PH official with knowledge of the budget.

One of the ways that PH plans to distinguish itself from how BN manages the country’s purse is by putting more money in the hands of workers and consumers by increasing wages.

This strategy has a three-pronged approach, said another PH official in drafting the budget.

First, the minimum wage will increase to RM1,500 from the present RM1,000.

Second, PH will introduce a co-pay system to help companies meet this requirement. Firms who qualify will get aid from the government to pay half of the increase for all its employees for the next three years.

“Since the minimum wage is already RM1,000, companies have to fork out an extra RM500 per employee. Under the co-pay system, the government will pay RM250 for each worker for three years to help the company adjust.”

PH will then make labour laws meet International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards so that unions will be stronger and have more bargaining power. This is expected to increase gradually workers’ pay, said the PH official.

“We want to create a virtuous cycle. If workers earn more, they have more choices. They spend more and this boosts business and company earnings,”   said the PH official.

“They can opt to not take public housing or they can take their children to private clinics. This reduces the federal government’s expenses in the long run.”

This policy would also go hand-in-hand with reducing the estimated six million foreign workers in the country so that firms will prioritise hiring locals.

Cutting wastage

PH is also expected to explain how it will make up for the shortfall in revenue after it abolishes the GST.

The BN administration has said the GST has contributed RM42 billion to the national coffers. It has argued that getting rid of it will put a dent in the government’s ability to fund programmes, especially after the fall in oil and gas revenue.

Part of PH’s solution involves going back to the pre-GST consumption system, which was called the sales and services tax levied on certain items and services.

“We will also expect to save RM20 billion from the budget through cutting out waste and corruption. For instance, the budget of the Prime Minister’s Office can be cut from RM20 billion to RM8 billion.”

The exact formula will be revealed at PH budget’s launch.

BR1M payments will be maintained but the cash aid will be handed out with conditions, said the official

“At this juncture we are still maintaining it but for certain recipients, they will have to do something positive.”

The official said the budget will also include incentives to spur tech companies involved in sectors that are supposed to drive what is popularly called the “fourth industrial revolution”.

PH is expected to offer a flat tax rate to companies involved in developing artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

A Bumiputera entrepreneur empowerment programme will also be included in the PH budget at the request of Bersatu, the official said.

“But we believe that ours will be superior to the BN’s,” said the official. – October 23, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 02:10:37 PM »




PH’s alternative budget to ‘spend wisely, cut taxes’
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PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan has released its Alternative Budget 2018 ahead of the Budget 2018 announcement by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday.

With the theme “Spend Wisely, Cut Taxes, Choose Hope”, the opposition coalition went directly to the message on what it intends to do to “give more back to the rakyat, with a better and more balanced budget”.

According to PH, it used data from the finance ministry in drawing up its budget.

With its primary goal in zerorising the goods and services tax (GST) from the current 6%, the coalition said the budget for next year aims to offset the estimated shortfall of RM42 billion in the government’s coffers.

“As every fiscal budget has two components, namely revenue and expenditure, a drop in revenue can be counterbalanced by a reduction in expenditure,” PH said, adding that it can reduce the impact of the revenue loss to a net value of RM14 billion.

“For 2018, we are determined to eliminate RM20 billion from wastage and corruption.

“Part of this wastage and corruption includes the slashing of the Prime Minister’s Department budget from the RM20.8 billion currently to a more acceptable RM8.4 billion.

“This would be part of an overall RM27 billion reduction in the government’s operating expenditure.”

One area that would remain untouched is the civil service though.

However, despite comments against the number of civil servants, that it is bloated with a 1.6 million workforce, the PH budget did not mention anything about reducing its size.

The main focus was on upskilling and helping existing personnel to enhance productivity and to even give rewards similar to how the Penang and Selangor governments reward their state civil servants.

On the point of increasing revenue, the PH budget hopes to add billions to its revenue with an increase in sin tax, namely imposing higher duties on cigarettes and alcohol.

The expected boost to car sales from the end of GST is also expected to generate more than RM1 billion, according to PH.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 02:21:17 PM »



Pakatan proposes RM258.52 billion alternative budget, end to GST
Sheridan Mahavera
Sheridan Mahavera
Updated about 45 minutes ago · Published on 25 Oct 2017 1:19PM · 0 comments
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Pakatan proposes RM258.52 billion alternative budget, end to GST
Pakatan Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (sitting, second from right) and other Pakatan Harapan leaders holding copies of its proposed Budget 2018 at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur today. The opposition pact has proposed an alternative budget that allocates about 23% to development and 77% for operating costs. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, October 25, 2017.

PAKATAN Harapan has proposed an alternative budget that allocates slightly more for development and less deficit than Barisan Nasional’s previous budget.

The opposition pact has proposed a budget of RM258.52 billion for 2018, less than the RM260.80 billion in the ruling BN budget for this year.

It also has, among others, promised to abolish the goods and services tax collection (GST), end highway tolls and save RM20 billion by cutting wastage and corruption.

It also proposed raising the minimum wage rate to RM1,500 and providing free education at public universities.


About 23% of the proposed budget is being allocated to development while 77% is for operating costs. In comparison, BN sets aside 20% for development and 80% for operating expenditure.

PH’s proposed budget projects a deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) of 2%, lower than the 3% of BN’s Budget 2017. – October 25, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 07:47:36 PM »




Harapan's budget chief defends fiscal plan, says it's 'extremely realistic' A PKR lawmaker has denied that Pakatan Harapan's alternative 2018 budget, which promises the abolishment of GST and continuation of BR1M albeit in a different form, as a populist fiscal plan. On the contrary, Wong Chen who is Pakatan Alternative Budget 2018 chief, claimed the budget is “extremely realistic”. “Look at our figures, we projected 2 percent of budget deficit but BN is likely to project 2.9 percent budget deficit. That's the rumour we heard,” he told reporters when met in Parliament. The Kelana Jaya MP also described it as a “transitional budget”, which the coalition intends to implement when it forms the government. “This is not populist because what is fundamentally wrong in our country is that wages are too low, capital flight is intense and the brain drain is serious. We can't hire good people. You ask big corporations like Axiata, AirAsia, they will tell you the same story. “How can this be a populist budget? This is self-repairing the country. “We want to put more money into people's hands, to bring down the cost of living, to build a better public transport system... We are committed to eliminating leakages,” he added. Wong said the coalition expected massive savings from its anti-corruption drive, which in turn, would fund the elimination of GST over a period of one year. He also stressed the importance of “not shocking the system”. “We must have proper transition and not shock the system. You must allow businesses and consumers to plan for the elimination of GST and progressively deal with the matter. “If we do see some hiccups in the system, we won't be irresponsible, we may relook into the system. But we are fully committed to the elimination of the system,” he said. Meanwhile, DAP's Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming also disagreed that Harapan had unveiled a populist budget. “This is a progressive budget,” he said. Harapan revealed its alternative budget in Parliament today ahead of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's scheduled tabling of the government's budget in the August House on Friday. Among others, the Harapan budget intends to revert to the Sales and Services Tax (SST) and slash the allocation for the Prime Minister's Department.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 09:11:48 PM »




Not enough incentives for affordable housing in Budget 2018, says buyers’ association
Updated 16 minutes ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 8:40PM · 0 comments
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Not enough incentives for affordable housing in Budget 2018, says buyers’ association
A People’s Housing Programme (PPR) flat in Kampung Limau, Kerinchi, Kuala Lumpur. The Budget 2018 will allocate funds for 17,300 units under the PPR, 3,000 units of People’s Friendly Home under SPNB and 210,000 houses under 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) with prices at RM250,000 and below. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain

THE government needs to give more incentives to private housing developers to build affordable properties, said the National House Buyers Association (HBA).

In their response to Budget 2018, which was announced earlier today, its secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said that this could be done by alienating land at lower cost, giving fast-track approvals and even tax exemptions.

“In addition, HBA has called for the cost of laying the last mile of utilities such as water, electricity, sewage and telecommunications to be borne by the respective utility company to lower the cost of properties,” he said in a statement.

Chang said the positive take from Budget 2018 in particular was that more affordable homes would be built to achieve the government’s target of one million homes.


“HBA is grateful that the government has taken the initiative to build more affordable housing.  However, HBA cautions that the right implementation to ensure that the said affordable housing reaches the right target market.

“They must build the right product at the right place with the right pricing and the right numbers.”

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who tabled the budget in Parliament today, said the government will continue to intensify efforts to increase home-ownership for the rakyat with an allocation of RM2.2 billion.

The budget will be used for 17,300 units under the People’s Housing Programme (PPR), 3,000 units of People’s Friendly Home under SPNB and 210,000 houses under 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) with prices at RM250,000 and below.

He also said RM1.5 billion will be allocated for 25,000 units under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M) and 600 units under the MyBeautiful New Homes (MyBNHomes) scheme for B40 households in Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak as well as Orang Asli settlements.

However, Chang said that plans to extend the “step-up financing scheme” to private developers based on certain criteria as announced in Budget 2018 will be detrimental to house buyers.

“Such ‘step-up financing schemes’ appears to help the rakyat to buy their dream homes by relaxing the lending criteria and giving higher end-financing. This is detrimental in the mid to long term.

“It is because housing developers will be encouraged to increase house prices knowing that the buyers can take higher end-financing.  This in turn will also push up prices of completed properties.”

Najib had said that to encourage the construction of more affordable homes, the “step-up financing scheme” introduced by PR1MA would be extended to private housing developers subject to certain criteria.

On the issue of the government plans to give tax exemptions of 50% on rental income up to RM2,000 a month, Chang said there was no announcement that the tenants could claim tax deductions on such rentals paid.

“In this regard, HBA wishes to state its strong objection to such a tax exemption as it would only encourage more speculative purchases of residential properties by property syndicates and investors club, which will further drive up property prices and deprive more deserving rakyat from owning such properties.”

Najib said that to promote rental of residential homes, for the first time in 60 years, the government proposes a 50% tax exemption on rental income received by resident individuals not exceeding RM2,000 per month for resident individuals.

This exemption will take affect from 2018 to 2020. The government will also formulate the Residential Rental Act to protect the landlord and tenant.

Chang also said that the government should take measures to slow down escalating property prices by increasing the entry and exit cost of owners of multiple properties such as increasing the Stamp Duty and Real Property Gains Tax. – October 27, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2017, 09:14:18 PM »




Felda settlers happy with Budget 2018 allocations
Asila Jalil
Asila Jalil
Updated about 31 minutes ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 8:28PM · 1 comments
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Felda settlers happy with Budget 2018 allocations
The Felda headquarters in Jengka, Pahang. Under Budget 2018, Putrajaya will reimburse the cess money that had been paid by settlers for replanting from rubbers to oil palm between 2010 and 2016. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal.

MORE than 112,000 Felda settlers will benefit from six key incentives announced in Budget 2018 today, which includes a special payment of RM5,000.

Prime Minister Najib Razak also announced a slew of other benefits for the settlers, who are found in 54 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia and form a population of one million, including their family members.

Under Budget 2018, Putrajaya will reimburse the cess money that had been paid by settlers for replanting from rubbers to oil palm between 2010 and 2016.

“This will benefit 8,925 Felda settlers with an allocation of RM43 million,” said Najib during the presentation of Budget 2018 in Parliament today.


Another benefit is a RM164 million allocation to build 5,000 homes for second generation Felda settlers, in collaboration with Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB).

RM60 million will also be given to those in the oil palm replanting programme, and RM200 million for the upgrade of water supply systems, roads and street lights in Felda settlements.

In an immediate reaction, a group representing the children of Felda settlers, Suara Generasi Ke-2 Felda (SGK2F), said they welcomed the government’s generosity in caring for the welfare of the settlers.

“The announcement showed that the government is concerned with the people’s welfare and we truly welcome (the benefits) and highly appreciate it,” said the group. – October 27, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2017, 09:17:51 PM »




‘BN not cutting wastage, eliminating corruption to reduce cost of govt’
Updated 37 minutes ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 8:23PM · 0 comments
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‘BN not cutting wastage, eliminating corruption to reduce cost of govt’
Pakatan Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other pact leaders with their alternative budget booklets in Kuala Lumpur on October 25. Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin says the Barisan Nasional government has copied the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget and manifesto. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, October 27, 2017.

THE ruling government has maintained its reliance on taxes to balance its books instead of cutting wastage, eliminating corruption and reducing the cost of government, said the opposition.

Prime Minister Najib Razak tabled a RM280.25 billion budget today, an increase from Budget 2017’s RM260.8 billion.

Of that amount, a higher sum of RM234.25 billion was allocated for Operating Expenditure (OE), while Development Expenditure (DE) was maintained at RM46 billion.

“This Budget proves that the Najib administration will not implement policies to impose prudence in spending,” said PJ Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement today.


Pua said this was reflected in the increase in the OE by RM14.4 billion, or 6.5%. In contrast, the increase in Budget 2017 was only RM9.7 billion or 4.6%, while in Budget 2016, OE was reduced by 3.1%.

In addition, OE, as a proportion of the federal government's overall expenditure, continued to increase to 83.6%, the highest in Malaysian history.

“Najib’s Budget 2018 speech, like the year before, was littered with political sniping and peppered with a litany of election year goodies,” said Pua, who is also DAP national publicity secretary.

“It contained no meaningful reforms in economic policies and institutions to end corruption and wastage,” Pua added.

“The Budget 2018 only served to prove widespread fears that, as long as there are no serious reforms in place, ordinary Malaysians will be forced to bear increasing higher tax contributions, whether via GST, or individual and corporate income taxes.”

For corporate taxpayers, the increase in burden isn’t any less. While corporate tax collection dropped by 0.1% from 2015 to 2016, it is expected to increase by 6.6% to RM67.8 billion this year. Next year, the increase is even higher, at a projected 6.9% to RM72.5 billion.

The above increases in individual and corporate income taxes are disproportionately higher than the 4-5% economic growth rates for Malaysia, said Pua.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin called today’s announcements “a failed election budget that tried to give goodies to as many people as possible”.

“So, everyone gets a tiny bit. It is too little for too few, and it has failed to help the needy,” said the PKR lawmaker in a statement.

Sim said although the 2% tax cut will return RM300-RM1,000 per person, the 6% GST will take away RM1,400 from them each year.

“Another glaring example is the long-awaited civil servants’ bonus. MTUC asked for 1.5 months bonus, but in the end, Barisan Nasional just gave a piecemeal sum of RM1,500. Such a disappointment for the 1.6 million civil servants,” she said.

Sim also charged the ruling Barisan Nasional government has copied the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget and manifesto.

“For example, Selangor has implemented Program TAWAS (Tabung Simpanan Warisan Selangor) for eight years. And BN is copying it with ADAM50. PH promised to abolish tolls in its alternative budget and Najib has copied it by closing a few tolls.

“PH announced maternity leave of 120 days and BN copied with 90 days. PH said it will abolish GST and Najib felt pressured to give a few GST reliefs.

“There is no mention of how to tackle rising corruption in government. If fundamental issues of corruption and leakages are not tackled, no matter how much the budget increased, it will not get to the poor and needy,” she said. – October 27, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2017, 09:22:39 PM »




Budget 2018
Malaysia's development expenses remain flat due to off-balance sheet financing — RAM
Sulhi Azman
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theedgemarkets.com

October 27, 2017 20:27 pm MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): RAM Ratings said Malaysia’s development expenditure has been relatively flat since 2013 and remains so under Budget 2018, despite the roll-out of sizeable infrastructure projects in the last few years due to off-balance sheet financing.

As a result, the rating firm said government-guaranteed debt load has turned “heftier” to 16.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017, from 11.8% of GDP in 2011.

“Over the long term, we envisage the level of contingent liabilities to increase at a measured pace amid continued roll out of infrastructure projects which are essential for Malaysia’s development,” RAM’s head of sovereign ratings Esther Lai said in a statement.

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Given the anticipated reduction in the fiscal deficit, which was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today, RAM said it expects the government’s debt level to come in at 50.2% of GDP in 2018, from its projection of 51.3% of GDP in 2017.

Under Budget 2018, the government said its expenditure is projected to increase 5.4% to RM280.3 billion amid enlarged operating expenditure of RM14.3 billion.

“The expansion is viewed as a supportive fiscal stance given the lacklustre recovery in oil prices,” RAM said,

Fiscal slippage — the percentage difference between actual versus budgeted expenditure — is projected to be reduced to 1.9% in 2017, compared to an average of 2.5% between 2010 and 2015, it added.

“Concurrently, Malaysia’s fiscal revenue has improved structurally following the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax in 2015, with continued improvement in tax administration and collection,” the rating agency said.

“This has rendered Malaysia fiscal position more resilient against oil price shocks in recent years, and is reflected in the expected 6.4% growth in fiscal revenue in 2018,” it added, noting that it is slightly faster than the estimated 6.1% growth in 2016, amid a stark contrast to the 3% contraction in 2015.

The pace of “slightly faster” fiscal growth, RAM said, will provide a sufficient fiscal space for the government to continue the various growth strategies under Budget 2018 while maintaining overall fiscal consolidation,

As for the anticipated 6.4% growth in fiscal revenue in 2018, RAM said it was based the assumption on “a realistic oil price assumption” at US$52 per barrel.

On the government’s “narrower” targeted fiscal deficit of 2.8% of GDP in 2018, RAM said it is laudable and reflects the government’s commitment to meeting its near-balanced target by 2020.

Nonetheless, RAM observed that more significant fiscal measures will be required to attain this goal.

“We expect the government to meet its targeted budget deficit of 3% of GDP in 2017, on the back of earlier fiscal consolidation efforts,” RAM said.

The firm is keeping the country’s sovereign ratings intact at AAA, underscored by a “still-robust projected economic growth of 5.2% in 2018, from this year’s projected figure of 5.4%

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2017, 09:24:06 PM »




MALAYSIA
POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
Budget 2018
Budget 2018 is a showmanship, says Wan Azizah
Chester Tay
/
theedgemarkets.com

October 27, 2017 20:46 pm MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): The Budget 2018 presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today was a kind of "showmanship", according to opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
 
She said the national budget did not prioritise the core issues of the country, such as corruption and wastages.
 
“Corruption and wastages in our country are most important (issues to be addressed). While you can give all the goodies, the basic problem in the administration of the country has to be addressed. That is the reality,” the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
 
PKR Member of the Parliament for Kelana Jaya, Wong Chen, described Budget 2018 as "bizarre", as it announced reduction in income tax rate and zero-rating more items under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but at the same time, expects higher tax revenues in 2018.
 
“It announced more GST-exempted goods. At the same time, in the budget revenue book, they are projecting GST collection to hit RM44 billion (in 2018). That is an additional RM2.3 billion, compared with 2017. This effectively means that every Malaysian household will have to pay more in GST next year,” he said.
 
Earlier, Najib said the government is proposing all services provided by the local authorities to be exempted from GST from April 1, 2018 or Oct 1, 2018, based on the local authorities' own discretion.
 
Najib also proposed to have reading materials treated as zero-rated items under GST, beginning 2018.
 
Wong noted Najib has allocated RM12 billion in development fund to the Prime Minister’s Department in 2018, but the health ministry will only receive RM1.8 billion for development purposes under the budget, while the education ministry is to receive RM1.4 billion.

"What is the Prime Minister spending RM12 billion on? The total budget allocated to the Prime Minister’s Department is RM18 billion,” Wong said.

Last year, a total of RM15.94 billion was allocated to the Prime Minister’s Department.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 09:26:10 PM »




Budget 2018
Emolument expenditure still within control, says Liow
Chester Tay
/
theedgemarkets.com

October 27, 2017 21:02 pm MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): Despite the total remuneration paid to civil servants rising further to RM79.15 billion under Budget 2018, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the matter is "under control".

Liow said the increasing size of the emolument expenditure is mainly because the Malaysian economy is growing as well.

"Our number of government servants has increased, at the same time our economy is growing. Emolument is a thing that we have to handle, to ensure that we are able to sustain our operating cost. As of now, I think we are able to control the numbers," he told reporters.

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"We have to ensure that we are able to service the people well and ensure that the economy grows," he added.

Noting that the health sector has been allocated RM27 billion in the budget, Liow said RM15 billion of the amount will be used for emoluments for doctors and nurses.

"We got 250,000 staff there (and) this is a functional service, very important to the people," he said.

Liow also commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for presenting an "inclusive" budget.

"All areas are covered, at the same time it is a budget to grow the economy further, as you can see that there is a lot of encouragement to empower the private sector to invest as well as to open up new markets," he said.

"For the Ministry of Transport, more than RM10.48 billion is allocated. This is important for logistics growth. PM has said that the logistics sector must be further enhanced to capture the digital economy," he added.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2017, 09:27:54 PM »



arket Close
FBM KLCI gains on Tenaga's rise as PM Najib unveils Malaysia's Budget 2018
Billy Toh
/
theedgemarkets.com

October 27, 2017 18:28 pm MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): The FBM KLCI gained 9.33 points or 0.5% on index-linked Tenaga Nasional Bhd's share price rise and as investors reacted positively to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's Budget 2018 speech.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,746.13 points, after rising to its intraday high at 1,751.50 points. Bursa Malaysia top gainer Tenaga added 62 sen to close at RM14.96, on the state-controlled utility's latest dividend and after the company announced a new dividend policy.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.76 billion shares, worth RM2.66 billion were traded. There were 476 gainers versus 310 decliners.

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Yesterday, Tenaga proposed a dividend of 44 sen a share for its fourth quarter ended Aug 31, 2017 (4QFY17). The quarterly dividend brings full-year dividends to 61 sen.

Tenaga also said "with effect from the financial year ended 31 August 2017, TNB (Tenaga) will adopt a new dividend policy for the company. TNB intends to distribute dividends based on 30% to 60% dividend payout ratio, based on the reported consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders after minority interest, excluding extraordinary, non-recurring items."

Today, analysts said Najib's Budget 2018 speech, which began at 3:30pm, augured well for the stock market.
 
“The oversold KLCI, coupled with the optimistic budget speech by PM Najib, boosted the key index to close higher,” Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2017, 09:31:51 PM »




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【2018財案】个人所得税减2%
国內 最后更新 2017年10月27日 21时08分
【2018財案】个人所得税减2%

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(吉隆坡27日讯)2018年財政预算案宣布下调个人所得税率2%,超过26万1000人无需缴纳所得税,主要受益者为中等收入群体(M40)。

首相拿督斯里纳吉今日宣布2018年財政预算案时,向230万名纳税人宣布下调个人所得税率的好消息,即可征税收入2万至7万令吉的个人所得税率,將一律减税2%;估计將让纳税人节省300令吉到1000令吉税金。

首相说,可徵税收入介于2万1令吉至3万5000令吉者,税率从5%减少至3%;可徵税收入介于3万5001令吉至5万令吉者,税率从10%减少至8%;可徵税收入介于5万1令吉至7万令吉者,税率从16%减少至14%。

纳吉说,为了提高国人的家庭可支配收入,及收窄国內的收入差距,收入少过9000令吉的40%中等收入群將获得减税。

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他说,这项减税措施预计可提高人民的可支配收入300令吉到1000令吉。估计人民將有额外15亿令吉可消费。

在此措施下,將有超过26万1000人不必再缴付所得税。

这项宣布也符合早前普遍预期,不少专家认为,政府已经至少3年没有调低中等收入群的个人所得税率,为配合大选临近,作为派糖果的措施,2018年財政预算案应该会有所下调。

根据2018年財政预算案附录显示,可徵税收入介于2万1令吉至3万5000令吉者,节省幅度最大,高达60%,可节省的缴税金额从原有的500令吉减少至200令吉,可节省300令吉。

可徵税收入介于3万5001令吉至5万令吉者,税率减少至8%后,缴税金额从现有的2400令吉,减少至1800令吉,节省600令吉,节省幅度25%。

可徵税收入介于5万1令吉至7万令吉者,税率从16%减少至14%之后,缴税金额从现有的5600令吉,减少至4600令吉,节省了1000令吉,节省幅度17.86%。

有关措施將从2018年税收年开始生效。

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2017, 09:36:47 PM »




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国內 最后更新 2017年10月27日 21时16分 • 周志强●理財顾问
【2018財案:专家导读】公僕、妇女、中下层受惠

0分享
这一次的预算案基本上都是在维持,并加强过去的政策,中下阶层人士是主要受惠者,最明显的一个例子便是课税收入介于2万令吉至7万令吉的个人所得税率,將一律减税2%。

「2018年財政预算案並没有太大的惊喜,主要是针对3大群体,包括退休和在职公务员、妇女及中下阶层人士而设。这3个群体都是政府在来届大选中的最大目標群,所以受到政府的关注。」

此次预算案內容也是从「TN50」2050年国家转型计划中所延伸,以满足人民的需求,但从长远竞爭角度而言,没有太明显的功效。

虽然政府收入有增加,但行政开销却比发展开销高,而且一年比一年高,这是一个不健康的现象,將会使到身为发展中国家的马来西亚面对发展阻碍及转型缓慢,特別是公务员的薪金不断上涨,是国家的一大负担。

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预算案中也非常关注教育,包括加强人才和技术的培训,但对于一般民眾而言是不痛不痒。

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2017, 09:41:13 PM »




Economists share mixed views on Budget 2018
NATION
Friday, 27 Oct 2017

9:04 PM MYT
by tarrance tan

PETALING JAYA: Economists have mixed views on the reduction in income tax rates in Budget 2018 announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Sunway University Business School economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said that the lowered income tax would definitely raise the disposable income for the middle class.

"Basically, the cut in income tax will raise the disposable income for the M40 group. So, that is among the expected goodies for the middle income group," he said.

He added that the lowered income tax would address the high cost of living in urban areas.


However, former World Bank economist Lim Teck Ghee said if tax rate cuts were calculated in absolute terms, the amount of savings to households would be relatively meagre.

"The savings are overshadowed by the increase in the cost of living across the board arising from GST costs, ringgit depreciation and general inflation," said Lim.

In Budget 2018, the government is set to lower the tax rate for households earning less than RM9,000 a month.

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The tax rate will be reduced to two percentage points for those earning between RM20,000 and RM70,000 in taxable income.

Those earning taxable income between RM20,001 to RM35,000 will have the tax rate reduced from 5% to 3% while those earning taxable income between RM35,001 and RM50,000 will have their tax rate decreased from 10% to 8%.

Those earning taxable income from RM50,001 to RM70,000 meanwhile will see the rate reduced from 16% to 14%.

Najib said that about 261,000 people will no longer have to pay income tax.


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/27/economists-share-mixed-views-on-budget-2018/#SvBMkzdzcilLsWYi.99

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2017, 07:02:05 AM »




How will Budget 2018 lower living costs, asks middle-income Malaysians
Looi Sue-Chern
Melati A. Jalil
Diyana Ibrahim
Jason Santos
Looi Sue-Chern, Melati A. Jalil, Diyana Ibrahim, Jason Santos, Irfan Hussain
Updated 7 hours ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 10:54PM · 2 comments
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How will Budget 2018 lower living costs, asks middle-income Malaysians
A general view of Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Middle-class Malaysians are wondering how Budget 2018 will help reduce the cost of living. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, October 27, 2017.


MIDDLE-class Malaysians are wondering how Budget 2018, with its incentives for rural folk, farmers, fishermen and civil servants, will translate into lower living costs.

While the goods and services tax (GST) was taken off certain items like reading materials and local council services, and toll was abolished on certain highways, they doubted that these moves would help ease their daily living expenses.

Real estate agent Wilson Moorthy from Penang said he was unexcited about the proposed RM280.2 billion budget tabled by Prime Minister Najib Razak this afternoon.

"I don't see how it is going to help the people face rising costs and prices.


"I recently paid RM18 per kg for cuttlefish. Three days ago, the price went up to RM35 per kg. I asked the fishmonger why did the price go up by so much. He said it was because of rising petrol prices.

"Now, how does the budget address this," the 50-year-old told The Malaysian Insight.

Moorthy also dismissed the GST relief for imports of “big ticket items” like aircrafts and ships by airlines and shipping companies, noting that they benefited big companies but not “regular folk”.

"People had been grumbling about rising prices of consumer goods, but only certain sectors like these big companies are getting relief," he said.

Besides the relief for airlines and shipping companies, Najib also announced GST relief for cruise operators; construction services for school buildings and houses of worships funded through donations; and imports of oil and gas-related equipment under lease agreements.

Najib, who is also finance minister, also said services provided by local authorities; and management and maintenance services of stratified residential buildings would not be subjected to GST.

On personal tax, those in the earnings bracket of RM20,001-RM35,000; RM35,001-50,000 and RM50,001-70,000 will all receive a 2% cut on taxable income.

But Moorthy said even with the 2% reduction in income tax, people were still paying 6% GST and higher prices for consumer items and services.

Government retiree Sam Yee, 69, said he would have been happier to hear about GST exemptions on more consumer products and services.

"Services by local councils are now exempted, but what kind of services exactly? Quit rent? Assessment?"

But Yee was happy to get RM750 in special financial assistance from the federal government. The amount this time is three times what pensioners got under the 2017 budget.

"Last year, we got only RM250. What can I say? This is an election budget. From what I heard on the radio, it sounds like an election budget. Many groups of people are getting perks and funds… farmers, fishermen, rubber tappers, Felda settlers and as usual, civil servants.”

'Nothing new' for Sabah

In Sabah, businessman Christian Ampalang, said he found nothing new in the Budget 2018 for his state.

“The Pan Borneo Highway, it’s nothing new. It's been repeated since 2016. It’s the same pledge over and over again. What Sabahans want to see is new highways being built. Not upgrades,” the 58-year-old said.

He felt the engineering quality of the highway was questionable, and cited the an uneven section of the highway from the Penampang roundabout to the Lok Kawi junction.

Street lights have also yet to be erected and it was dangerous for motorists using the highway at night.

It was the same with the proposed Labuan bridge, Ampalang said, noting that the state government had been refusing to allocate land for the bridge on the mainland side.

Even if the project went ahead, he questioned whether its implications on ferry operators had been considered, as their business would likely be affected.

What about other tolled highways?

On the scrapping of toll charges at Batu Tiga and Sg Rasau in Selangor, Shah Alam resident Ida Marjan said this should have been done years ago, noting that the Federal Highway did not have toll when it was first opened.

“It’s good news that we no longer have to pay tolls to enter Shah Alam and Klang starting next year but what about other tolls? We fork out at least RM10 daily for tolls to go to Kuala Lumpur,” the 49-year-old said.

Besides these tolls in Selangor, Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah and the Eastern Dispersal link in Johor will be toll-free starting next year.

Another regular Federal Highway user, Mohd Mustazza Abu Hapaz, said abolishing toll at Batu Tiga and Sg Rasau were the best thing about Budget 2018 as far as he was concerned.

The 30-year-old sound engineer said the budget was otherwise not very exciting for him, as most of its benefits seemed directed at the civil service.

Some good, some bad

Mustazza said the budget’s focus on civil service incentives showed it was meant to be an election budget. His views were echoed by a dermatologist in Klang, who wanted to be known as Chris.

“This budget does look as if it is meant for the general election; that’s the way politics is. I wouldn’t blame the government as any government in power would want to implement policies that would help protect their interests,” he said.

Other than the 2% reduction in personal income tax, Chris said the budget did not hold much else for someone like him.

But Islamic International University student Ahmad Naim, meanwhile, said he found the the book voucher assistance of RM250 helpful as many students often did not have enough money to buy the books they needed.

Other university students welcomed the extended grace period to repay National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans from six to 12 months and the discounts offered to borrowers who could repay their loans in full or by 50% and via salary deductions.

Ganaesh Rajakumar, 20, said the discounts would help graduates with low starting salaries or who had families to care for.

“The grace period, especially, would give graduates some time to be in a stronger position in terms of finding work, given the problem of unemployment among graduates,” he said.

Custom tailor Musfirah Abdul said she expected difficulties with the 90-day mandatory maternity leave for the private sector that was announced in the budget.

“Big companies may not be affected but for someone like me, it will be difficult as I don’t have many employees,” she said, adding that she may have to consider hiring staff based on fixed-term contracts or pay wages on a daily basis. – October 27, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2017, 07:05:25 AM »




Budget 2018 a letdown for private sector, say Unions
Updated 8 hours ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 10:14PM · 0 comments
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Office workers seen heading back to work after lunch hour in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The MTUC says Budget 2018 is a letdown to the private sector, as all past budgets were. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, October 27, 2017.


THE Budget 2018 that was announced today is a letdown for the private sector as with the previous annual budgets, said the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC).

MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon said the worst is that the government has failed to address the burning issues of the bottom 40 (B40) and middle 40 (M40) groups.

“Annually, the budget is a letdown for private sector workers and this 2018 Budget is no different.

“The government must be reminded that in this current global economy a budget should benefit all and not a selected few; only then it will be truly an inclusive budget,” he said in a statement.


Solomon said while they welcomed some of Budget 2018 proposals, they only hope that the implementation is effective, done fairly and reaches the desired population.

MTUC have singled out eight areas in the budget that would be of concern for workers, such as housing, women welfare and empowerment, medical, transport, childcare and education.

Housing

Solomon said that the government’s budget of RM2.2 billion allocated for affordable and low cost housing is insufficient to build the 385,900 units announced by the Prime Minister Najib Razak in parliament today. 

“The time frame for the completion of the number of units announced was not specified.

“Affordability remains an issue and the aspect of financing has not been addressed.”

Women welfare and empowerment

Solomon praised the government in addressing the issue of women who have been sidelined throughout the years by increasing their participation in the boards of GLCs, GLIC and statutory bodies to 30%.

“This is a good move by setting a time frame which is to be implemented by the end of 2018. This is in line with the International Labour Organisation recommendations.”

Solomon also welcomed the government’s suggestion that it should be mandatory for the private sector to increase maternity leaves from 60 days to 90 days.

“Since this is merely a suggestion, we hope that the private sector will take the note and make this their policy. But a mandatory requirement requires legislative changes to make it a reality.

“It is also encouraging that the government has taken the bold move in facilitating early departure from work for pregnant mothers of five months and above.”

Healthcare

On healthcare, Solomon said the allocation of RM27 billion for healthcare is encouraging because the people can now make use of government hospitals instead of spending huge amounts of money on private hospitals.

Transport

Solomon said that while they agreed with the abolishment of the four tolls they disagreed with the selection of areas.

“For example, the abolishment of toll at Bukit Kayu Hitam which is at the border up north does not address the burden of cost on people commuting to work.

“Furthermore, the cost of transportation is also not addressed. Whilst we welcome the efforts to improve the interstate and within city transport, however, other cost factors such as the cost of the transport and parking was not addressed.”

Solomon said that Malaysians, especially those in the B40 and M40 household, are paying huge amounts in direct and indirect taxes.

“Therefore, the provision of road and transport system should be the responsibility of the state and hence, there should not be any burden of tolls for Malaysians.”

Childcare

Solomon said that it was a good move to issue a directive for the mandatory setting up of childcare centres in all new buildings.

“This hopefully will further motivate current employers to undertake this moral obligation towards their employees.”

Education

Solomon said the increase in allocation for PTPTN will not address the current issues faced by the huge number of youth especially from the B40 and M40 households who are defaulters or those wishing to apply.

“It is disappointing to note that that free tertiary education for children from B40 and M40 households were not addressed in this budget.

“The 2018 Budget is merely looking at discounts for repayments. These are ways to recover what is owed and not resolving their liability. Increasing the amount that they can borrow, in the circumstance, the B40 and M40 children will be more in debt.”

Employment

Solomon said that they welcome the move for Malaysians to hire domestic workers directly from their countries while removing the need to go through an agent.

“This form of direct-employment should be extended to all migrant workers.

“But the government should also address the issue of dependency on migrant workers.” – October 27, 2017

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2017, 07:07:24 AM »




Budget 2018 a mixed bag for Chinese community
Lim Ai Sun
Updated 9 hours ago · Published on 27 Oct 2017 9:17PM · 0 comments
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Budget 2018 a mixed bag for Chinese community
Hua Zong president Pheng Yin Huah says it is concerned that the RM550 million special fund for the maintenance and upgrading of government schools did not include Chinese vernacular schools.

BUDGET 2018 drew praise from Chinese community leaders for its moves to improve living standards for lower income groups, but say it fell short of doing more for Chinese schools and small businesses.

Federation of Chinese Associations (Hua Zong) president Pheng Yin Huah said the proposal to remove toll charges for four highways in Selangor, Kedah and Johor was one of the “biggest highlights” of the budget.

He also welcomed moves to provide cash handouts to various needy groups, which he added would be especially helpful for the B40 and M40 groups.

“We can see that the government is committed to improving people’s living standards, especially the low- and middle-income groups.


“However, we are concerned that the RM550 million special fund for the maintenance and upgrading of government schools did not include Chinese vernacular schools,” he said.

Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools will receive RM50 million each under a separate allocation but Pheng said he hoped the government would allocate funds according to the school size and number of students.

Still, Pheng welcomed Putrajaya’s move to allocate RM50 million in loans to Chinese through Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Bhd (Kojadi) and RM30 million for small businesses through Yayasan Peniaga and Penjaja Kecil 1Malaysia.

RM65 million will also be allocated for new Chinese villages.

SME Association of Malaysia president Michael Kang said the allocation for small businesses was welcomed, but that SME owners would not really benefit.

“Even if the government provided allocations to SME to automate production processes, our biggest challenge is we do not have enough expertise.”

Kang said most SMEs were still labour intensive and relied on foreign workers, and without expertise and capital, it would be hard for them to transform. – October 27, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2017, 07:14:29 AM »




Budget 2018
Budget 2018 trains eyes on rental market
Rachel Chew
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EdgeProp.my

October 28, 2017 00:05 am MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): Budget 2018’s  proposals to stimulate the housing rental market could  mark the beginning of a greater focus on the rental market in the near future, according to Laurelcap Sdn Bhd executive director Stanley Toh.

He was commenting on Budget 2018 which was tabled in Parliament today.

While describing Budget 2018 as “not exciting”, he however believed the government is putting efforts to boost the rental market.   

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* Average home prices rose in 1H17
* Budget 2018 highlights
* Developers laud govt’s move to reduce cost of living, boost home ownership
* MBAM had hoped for lower import duties on machinery and IBS incentives in Budget 2018
* Think tanks: More could be done to boost property sector
* PEPS: No measures in Budget 2018 to arrest current property market challenges
* Rehda pleased with Budget 2018, hopes state governments will follow suit
* Budget 2018 proposals could spur the market, say economists
* Budget 2018 is good, but has no big surprises, say developers
* 50% tax exemption on rent should be given to tenants, not landlords, says RISM
* CBRE | WTW: No news on DIBS, RPGT is good news
* HBA: Affordable housing policy needs to be targeted at the right segment

“The key word and focus of this budget for me is the rental market,” Toh told EdgeProp.my, adding that there is nothing else exciting that can bring immediate impact to the market.

He also highlighted that the Residential Rental Act to protect tenants and owners is indicative of the government’s focus on the rental market in the coming years.

“The government had also announced for the first time in 60 years, the 50% tax exemption on rental income for residential properties up to RM2,000 a month to Malaysian residents residing in Malaysia. This shows that the government wants to boost this market,” Toh explained.

Meanwhile, Henry Butcher Malaysia chief operating officer Tang Chee Meng commented that  Budget 2018 is slightly better than last year’s.

“For example, the step-up financing scheme by PR1MA is a good move and by extending it to private developers. It will help to boost the take-up of affordable homes built by the private sector.

“It will also encourage young people who have been holding back on home purchases because they don’t meet the qualifying income for loans to buy their first home,” Tang said.

Nawawi Tie Leung Property Consultants Sdn Bhd managing director Eddy Wong also lauded the move.

“It is a very interesting measure and it should boost the market. However, the prime minister said it would be ‘based on criteria to be fixed’, so we still have to wait for the details before we can comment further.

“It may only be for affordable homes within a certain price point, or only for borrowers below a certain income level, similar to the PR1MA criteria,” said Wong, adding that the measure is something that can be looked forward to.

KGV International Property Consultants executive director Samuel Tan said that Budget 2018 is rather disappointing, because of the lack of good news.

“The industry and Rehda (the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association) have been hoping for some good news, but not many new measures to boost the property market have been introduced,” Tan said.

However, Tan welcomed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption for property management of strata properties.

PPC International (Penang) Sdn Bhd executive director Mark Saw also described the GST exemption as good.

“While developers have to continue to deal with rising construction cost with no GST relief, property manager fees with no GST would mean the client, such as the management corporation who are mostly residential in nature will pay 6% less as the consultant will not have to charge it. I think this is good news” Saw noted.

Meanwhile JLL Project and Construction Management Sdn Bhd managing director Y Y Lau and head of research Veena Loh said Budget 2018 is a good people’s budget.

“There is a lot of spending on infrastructures and development. For example, the government targets to complete the MRT3 two years earlier. This announcement will have a multiplier impact on the market. It can stimulate the local property market and boost prices,” Loh said

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2017, 07:16:44 AM »




MALAYSIACORPORATE
POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
Budget 2018
Winners and losers as Najib courts votes
Bloomberg
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Bloomberg

October 28, 2017 00:45 am MYT

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(Oct 27): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday announced an RM280 billion (US$66 billion) spending plan in the final Budget before general elections take place in the next 10 months.

The premier lowered taxes for millions of Malaysians and increased social assistance as he gave an upbeat assessment of the economy. At the same time, those expecting corporate tax cuts were left disappointed and some toll concessionaires found themselves with fewer highways to collect from.

Here are the winners and losers.

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WINNERS

Middle-income taxpayers

Najib announced personal income tax cuts of 2 percentage points for those earning between RM20,000 and RM70,000 a year. He said that would benefit 2.3 million taxpayers, including 261,000 people who wouldn’t have to pay the levy, and increase disposable income by as much as RM1,000.

Civil servants

The 1.6 million-strong force will get an RM1,500 bonus over two payments, while government retirees will get half the amount. Najib also introduced more flexible hours and increased medical and education-related benefits. Employees of government-linked companies will also gain as the prime minister announced organizations will increase profit-sharing programs and introduce benefits such as substituting leave allowance for cash.

Agricultural economy

Najib outlined benefits of about RM6.5 billion for farmers, fishermen, smallholders and rubber tappers. Voters from the agricultural sector have a higher weighting than their work, which contributes to less than a tenth of gross domestic product. Allocations include money for fertilizers, irrigation systems and replanting programs.

Planes, ships and oil rigs

Imports of aircraft, ships and oil rigs are among items that will be given relief from the 6 percent goods and services tax from next year. Cruise operators will also get relief from paying the tax on handling services by port operators for several years.

Student-loan dodgers

After warning student-loan dodgers three years ago of the dangers of non-payment, the Prime Minister is reaching out to them again to settle their debts. Najib has sought to woo younger voters with discounts on outstanding student loans and he gave them more time to remain eligible for such reductions. For those who just completed their studies, they will have a longer grace period before having to start to make payments.

Other winners

Venture capital: The minimum investment in venture companies will be reduced to 50 percent from 70 percent, while tax incentives will be expanded.
Pregnant women: Those in the civil service can leave work an hour early when they’ve passed the fifth month of pregnancy. For the private sector, the government is proposing 90 days of maternity leave from 60, matching what those in the public sector are already getting.
Comic book fans: They can rejoice too as more reading materials become zero-rated.

LOSERS

Companies

The Budget focused on increasing disposable income for consumers but companies wishing for tax cuts after years of rising costs were left disappointed. Manufacturers in particular have struggled from higher operating expenses costs as a result of the implementation of minimum wages and the removal of energy subsidies.

Toll operators

Toll collections will be removed on specific highways in the opposition state of Selangor, as well as battleground states of Kedah and Johor. Already, one toll operator said it’s awaiting "receipt of further details" from the government before commenting on the loss in collections.

The Opposition?

The battle for votes continues to be an uphill one for opposition groups with a lack of access to resources that Najib and his coalition have at their disposal. The election-friendly Budget may be a swing factor for voters battling higher costs of living even as they blame the government for the increases.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2017, 07:18:10 AM »





Budget 2018
Govt expenditure should be reprioritised, says economist
Tan Xue Ying
/
theedgemarkets.com

October 28, 2017 01:19 am MYT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27):  An economist has called for a reprioritising of expenditure to address the imbalance between the development expenditure and operating expenditure in the country’s Budget.

Socio-Economic Research Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie said that while the federal government’s revenue is expected to grow 6.4% to RM239.9 billion in 2018, the development expenditure is estimated at RM46 billion suggesting a "disappointing" 0.1% growth.

“Operating expenditure has been on the rise for two consecutive years now, but the development expenditure to gross domestic product ratio seems to be going downhill,” he said.

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He added that the shrinking of the operating surplus to an average of RM3.6 billion per year in 2008-2018, from an average of RM13.9 billion per year in 2001-2007 underscores the lack of fiscal commitment to restrain operating expenditure.

Lee was one of the speakers at a forum on Budget 2018 jointly hosted by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (KLSCCCI).

Lee said a contribution system should be implemented for civil servants as one of the measures in addressing the imbalance in the government's operating expenditure.

Citing the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) as an example, he suggests a phased implementation of a defined contribution of public pension, instead of a fund civil servants are plainly being “entitled to”.

He said the decision to raise the minimum pension for retired civil servants to RM1,000 per month may in the longer term prove to be strenuous to the government’s expenditure.

Budget 2018 also provides a host of other measures for civil servants, including second time-based promotion, retirement benefits, increased days for maternity leave, flexible working hours, and unrecorded leave for umrah.

On another matter, Lee said there should not be any annual increment in the 1Malaysia's People's Aid (BR1M) payments as it may give an off-setting effect on the subsidy cut over the years.

In Budget 2018, the government announced that it is maintaining the BR1M payment at RM1,200 for next year.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2017, 12:16:21 AM »
* Exemption of stamp duty on contract note for transaction of Exchange Traded Fund and Structured warrant over three years from Jan 2018 onwards

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2017, 06:25:32 AM »




What Budget 2018 doesn’t tell you
Hafidz Baharom
Hafidz Baharom
Updated 13 hours ago · Published on 29 Oct 2017 4:50PM · 0 comments
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THUS, Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced the government’s budget for next year – or rather, he read a speech, trolled the opposition and set the tone that a general election might be closer than we think.

His speech was not the government budget. Instead, his speech was merely an opening of razzle dazzle to entice people to vote for Barisan Nasional. Similarly, Pakatan Harapan’s budget released two days prior, read more like a manifesto.

Both are election budgets. And both, quite frankly, disappoint.

First off, as a heavy smoker, I’m wondering where exactly the government is expecting to raise yet another RM300 million from import duties on tobacco. The obvious answer is, of course, they intend to raise the prices of cigarettes yet again.


At the same time, the main concern for the government is how they intend to dish out some RM280 billion with lesser revenue from the goods and services tax (GST), which will exclude a huge chunk of spending from the construction of houses of worship by charities, to even the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses.

For some reason or another, the government projects an increase in GST revenue even with more exclusions. How? Will they reintroduce the aborted 66 listed items earlier this year for review and implementation?

The same applies to individual income tax revenue. The prime minister said there will be a 2% reduction for those earning under RM9,000. And yet, the projection shows a growth in income tax revenue, albeit 2% lower compared to 2017.

How? Is there projected growth in wages that will push average Malaysians into the lowest income tax? 

I applaud the need to get people back to reading by offering GST exclusions on magazines and comics and the handing out of book vouchers. It is a good move to encourage people to read more, albeit not everyone will take it as a plus.

And then, there are the abolished tolls. I have issues with this, personally being brought up in Shah Alam. The Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau tolls have been a bane for those living in Shah Alam and Klang.

Thus, abolishing these two have been on the residents’ wish list for a long time. However, it was announced in 2015 that the Batu Tiga toll would be extended beyond 2018 due to the rates being half of what it was supposed to be.

While I’m sure many in Shah Alam and Klang are celebrating, there’s a catch. All other tolls handled by the concessionaire will be extended. Thus, to the people of Shah Alam and Klang, we need to ask ourselves: are we comfortable passing the buck to the peoples of Damansara, Setia Alam and others in Selangor, for a duration of 20 years?

This is the question we all must consider. For me personally, I’d say no. I thank the federal government for the offer, but as a native Selangorian thinking of others in our state, it is wrong to force others to pay for yet another 20 years on our behalf on my conscience.

Personally, it seems rather schizophrenic to undo the tolls when you wish to promote public transport, especially when the LRT3 line will be servicing these areas by 2021.

We cannot in good conscience as the people of Selangor, or even Malaysia, force others to suffer longer, even if it is to our own selfish benefit. As the Malay phrase goes “berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing” – we should bear heavy loads together, even if it is toll rates.

Additionally, I’m glad that the government increased the budget for medical supplies from RM4 billion, up to RM4.1 billion. The stories of single use medical apparatuses being recycled conjures up an image of us suddenly living in a dystopian future worthy of “The Walking Dead” series.

But then again, is this not the same amount spent in 2017, inclusive of the budgeted amount plus the March 2017 supplementary bill?

Einstein said it would be insane to expect a different result by doing the same thing. Thus, what is the Health Ministry changing to avoid the shortages from happening in 2018, as it did this year?

There are a lot of great things in the budget, including increasing money for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) back to 2016 levels, higher increase in spending on scholarships and lengthening the discounts for PTPTN, and even the increased spending in agriculture to promote food security.

However, perhaps the government can explain why the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) got an additional RM70 million compared with last year? There is no mention of any increase in staff, thus leading to the question.

At the same time, contrary to “Kak Wan”, the millionaire chicken farmer, I am personally sceptical all of the success of microcredit as an effective tool for entrepreneurs to succeed. Perhaps the government can come clean and admit that Kak Wan’s success is not even the top 1% – or even 0.5% – of the stories regarding microcredit.

The budget, just like Pakatan’s, requires close scrutiny and brings up more questions than answers. Thus, I ask everyone to scrutinise both sides, pester them to answer your questions, add more ideas to be included in the amendments, towards a better and sustainable one. – October 29, 2017.

* Hafidz loves to ruffle feathers and believes in the EA Games tag line of challenging everything. Most times, he represents the Devil’s Advocate on multiple issues.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

* Hafidz loves to ruffle feathers and believes in the EA Games tag line of challenging everything. Most times, he represents the Devil’s Advocate on multiple issues.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2017, 08:14:52 AM »




BR1M just a Band-Aid solution, wage hikes better
Melati A. Jalil
Melati A. Jalil
Updated 56 minutes ago · Published on 30 Oct 2017 7:00AM · 0 comments
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BR1M just a Band-Aid solution, wage hikes better
The 1Malaysia People’s Aid or BR1M is to help poor households and individuals but an economist says it should not be a source of income. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 30, 2017.

HIGHER wages are a better solution than 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) handouts, which are only a one-off relief to help with small emergencies, recipients say, as the amount doled out remains unchanged under Budget 2018.

Several BR1M recipients told The Malaysian Insight they did not want to rely on BR1M and would rather the government looked at ways to boost wage growth.

“When I first started working, my salary was RM1,500 and after seven years, it only increased to RM1,800,” said van driver Yap Boon Sui, 36, from Seri Kembangan.

He said it was hard to start a family and live in the city with his small earnings.


“Although I’m not married, I cannot spend my earnings lavishly. I try to have some savings every month. I don’t want to rely on BR1M. I would prefer if my salary is increased consistently,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has also appealed for better wage policies to address cost of living problems faced by the working class.

Secretary-general J. Solomon said BR1M was just a sweetener that did not help wage-earners with upward mobility.

“It would be more meaningful if the government came up with a decent living wage policy rather than giving out BR1M.   The government should not go on saying we want to be a high-income nation and only give sweeteners, as this does not address the problem.”

Besides wage hikes, employers should also give a monthly cost of living allowance which would be of better help than BR1M, Solomon said, urging employers and Putrajaya to come to an agreement on these proposals.

For the first time since BR1M was disbursed in 2012, the federal budget for 2018 will not increase the amount handed out. Households earning below RM3,000 a month will receive RM1,200, while those between RM3,000 and RM4,000 will receive RM900.

Single individuals earning RM2,000 and below will continue to receive RM450.

These amounts were increased in Budget 2017under a RM6.8 billion allocation for seven million households, and remain the same for next year.

Protesters outside Parliament on Friday when the Budget 2018 is announced, demanding the government end its weekly fuel price announcements. Many Malaysians complain over the uncertainty amid rising cost of living. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, October 30, 2017.
Protesters outside Parliament on Friday when the Budget 2018 is announced, demanding the government end its weekly fuel price announcements. Many Malaysians complain over the uncertainty amid rising cost of living. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, October 30, 2017.
Economists have noted that wages are growing too slowly and will drag down private spending. Budget 2018 did not address the calls to raise the current minimum wage of RM1,000 in the peninsula and RM920 in Sabah and Sarawak, although the human resources minister has said a new wage would be announced next year.

In 2014, the median monthly salary was RM1,500 and the average monthly wage was RM2,193.

From 2015 to 2016, the median wage grew by 6.2% from RM1,600 to RM1,703, while the average monthly wage grew 6.3% from RM2,312 to RM2,463 in the same period.

Khazanah Research Institute in a 2015 report on how much Malaysians earned said low salaries were because the bulk of the workforce were low-skilled and that companies paid their employees very little. Only 32.9% of national income went to workers, while owners and employers got the rest.

Piecemeal help

Klang resident Hamran Abd Hamid, a father of six, said he has been a BR1M recipient since its first year and uses the money to buy extra grocery items for his family.

“Sometimes I will use it to pay an outstanding amount on my car loan, or sometimes to service my car. In the current economy, every bit of monetary assistance is helpful,” the 36-year-old who works at mobile phone repair shop.

His own salary is a little more than RM2,000 each month. When he first started receiving BR1M in 2012, his pay was RM1,800.

“BR1M doesn’t help to improve the quality of life, because our life is still the same. But it reduces the burden. I would rather have an increase in salary because that is my source of income. Monetary aid is not a source of income,”  he said.

Raihan Salleh, whose household income is between RM3,000 and RM4,000, said families with small children were the ones feeling the pinch as the cost of raising children gets more expensive.

“If our salaries are not stagnant, I don’t think we will need BR1M, although it does help lift the burden when we get the handout in a particular month. For my family, the BR1M payment will be used to buy extra groceries or nappies for my child,” she said.

Mixed message

Except for 2018, the amount Putrajaya has spent on BR1M has increased every year since its introduction.

As such, economist Lee Heng Guie said the objective of doling the handout must be reviewed to ensure it was channelled to targeted groups.

In 2012, the total disbursement of BR1M was RM2.1 billion with about three million recipient households and individuals.

At a total of RM6.8 billion this year for seven million recipients and giving BR1M to households with income of RM4,000 did not make sense, Lee said.

“If you really go into the principles of BR1M, you should target only disabled people, the elderly (and really poor households).

“With the amount getting bigger over the years, it doesn’t jive with statements that the economy is improving or that incomes have increased. 

“It begs the question, why are people relying on BR1M?” the Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director said.

The government should make BR1M payments conditional to ensure they were being used to enhance the recipients’ lives, he said.

“The objective of BR1M was mainly to help ease the burden, as we removed subsidies gradually, but now it has become a yearly payment that when it is time for the national budget, everyone will be hoping for some adjustment to the BR1M.

“We know it gives the recipients some relief, but there are also people who use BR1M to buy unproductive items.

“What we need are enhancements on how to improve people’s earning capacity.” – October 30, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2017, 08:38:23 AM »




Felda settlers dismiss ‘recycled’ goodies in Budget 2018
Diyana Ibrahim
Diyana Ibrahim
Updated one hour ago · Published on 31 Oct 2017 7:00AM · 0 comments
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Felda settlers dismiss ‘recycled’ goodies in Budget 2018
Felda settlers are plagued with problems including rising debt and an inefficient plantation management system. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 31, 2017.

FOR Nasir Isa, a Felda settler from Kota Tinggi, the special incentive announced in Budget 2018 is not something to be excited over as it is a rehash of previously announced allocations.

The one-off incentive of RM5,000 was announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak in July.

“We’ve already received the money,” Nasir told The Malaysian Insight.

“It’s the same with the oil palm replantation scheme that was announced. The truth is our wages have already been cut RM119 for the replantation programme. So, what is new with Budget 2018?


“For me, it’s more of the same. There is no priority for us, that is why I call it a recycled budget.” 

Such is the sentiment of settlers regarding the budget presented by Najib last Friday, which is regarded as insufficient to resolve their many issues.

Another promise was the allotment of 5,000 housing units, which was announced in 2012, although the project has since been halted.

The second-generation of Felda settlers have not rejected the incentives, said Nasir, but believe many issues remain unresolved.

“The Felda issues are more complicated and there’s little in the budget that can uplift our feeling of anxiety. But it’ll have to do for now,” said Nasir.

The issues include rising Felda debt and an inefficient plantation management system.

“It is not that we’re not thankful to the government for all the incentives so far as it showed their commitment to helping the settlers.

“However, from what we see, this does not solve all our problems,”   he said, adding that debt and plantation issues have been affecting settlers for the past decade.

The government should focus on inefficient plantation schemes affecting Felda and Felda Technology Plant (FTP), he said.

“There is a shortage of labour and contractors are not able to carry out the survey and management of plantations in a more efficient and systematic way.”

The Malaysian Insight has previously highlighted problems in plantation schemes linked to Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV).

In 2012, the Najib administration allowed FGV take over 335,000ha of Felda plantation land and listed on Bursa Malaysia.

At the time, the initial public offering price of RM4.55 but has declined to RM1.89 today.

In 2015, FGV cancelled plans to buy a 37% stake in oil palm firm PT Eagle High Plantations at a higher-than-market price, following objections from shareholders.

The latest FGV controversy involved a tussle between CEO Zakaria Arshad and former chairman Mohd Isa Abdul Samad.

Both accused each other of mismanaging FGV, leading to investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

No guarantee of votes

Meanwhile, Persatuan Anak Peneroka Felda  Kebangsaan (Anak) president Mazlan Alima said it is hard to predict whether the incentives would translate into support for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

Mazlan said the minds of the third- and fourth-generation of Felda settlers have already been made up.

“It is hard to gauge the opinions of the first-generation settlers. But the new Felda generation of settlers has access to information.

“They reject (Felda’s incentives) in the budget as they are not affected.” 

Anak has requested that the government explain whether the announcement to build 5,000 housing units, at the cost of RM164 million, is a new project or the stalled one from 2012.

A total of 300 units are slated to be constructed in Besut, Terengganu; Chini Timur 2, Pahang; and Tenggaroh, Johor.

“We would like to know whether the housing units at these three locations are from the stalled projects in 2012.

“As far as Anak can tell, it’s only at Felda Tenggaroh 3 that 100 homes have been constructed. We consider them a failure, as the participants in the projects still do not know their debts from the housing loans.”

Mazlan added that he is worried there might be funding cuts for Money Fund Ses, replantation scheme under Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).

The incentives were promised by Najib to 7,800 settlers during the Kerdau by-election in 2011.

“The reality is that the settlers are tired of going back and forth to the Risda offices to make their claims.

“Even if they go, would Risda pay the settlers directly or through Felda, which is filled with bureaucratic red tape.”

Mazlan said other issues of contention include the location of the Technoplant.

“Why don’t they empower Felda Investment Corporation and the co-ops in all the Felda schemes?

“This has better potential of raising a new generation of Felda entrepreneurs than letting Technoplant or other capitalists take advantage of the settlers.” 

Last Friday, Najib announced incentives for 112,000 Felda settlers. Among them is a payout of RM5,000 to 8,925 setters amounting to RM94 million and a RM60 million oil palm replantation scheme as well as Ses replantation purchasing programme from 2010 to 2016.

The prime minister and finance minister also announced the construction 5,000 units for second-generation Felda settlers, via a RM164 million venture with Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).

RM200 million has also been allocated for the upgrade of utilities, such as water, electricity and roads. – October 31, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2017, 09:02:39 AM »



Budget 2018: EPF panelist warns of rising expenditure and shrinking tax revenue
ECONOMY
Tuesday, 31 Oct 2017

3:28 PM MYT
by p. aruna

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government’s expenditure, particularly in healthcare and pension payments are set to soar over the medium and long term, as the country moves towards becoming an aged population.

The country’s revenue from income taxes, on the other hand, will decline as people move away from salaried jobs in line with Industry 4.0 and the internet revolution, which will see more freelance opportunities arising, said EPF Economies and Capital Markets general manager Nurhisham Hussein.

Speaking at the 2018 Post-Budget Dialogue organised by the Malaysian Economic Association, Nurhisham said the evolution of the country’s expenditure and revenue collection was inevitable, and needed to be addressed.

“I am going to say something unpopular - my wish would be that income taxes were actually going up, expenditure was going up and that the government was borrowing more - and let me outline why,” he said.


image: https://bcp.crwdcntrl.net/5/c=5593/b=45577105

Citing the country’s aging population, with a current median age of about 30 years, he notes that Malaysia is among the fastest aging nations in the world.

“Within the next 30 years or so, we will be an aged economy, with about 15% to 20% of the population above the age of 60 years.

“If you look at household expenditure and how it evolves over time, in the area of healthcare specifically, the bulk of it is during the last two years of life,” he said.

Nurhisham stressed that healthcare costs were set to increase in line with the aging population.

“The allocation for the health ministry this year is about RM27bil and this is going to increase in double digit rates over the next 30 years.

“We need to pay for that if we want to maintain the healthcare system that we currently have,” he said.

Secondly, he noted that the size of families were decreasing, apart from more people choosing to not get married or have children.

“Being Asian, we think that families will take care of the aged, but the family support system is disappearing, and eventually, this situation will entail support from the government,” he added.

Thirdly, he pointed out that government expenditure on the payment of pensions will also be increasing rapidly.

“I think as far as load on government finances is concerned, pension is going to be the number one issue over the coming years.

“Even if we reform the pension system today, there would be a transition period of about 50 to 60 years.

“We will still be paying pensions for today’s civil service, 60 years from now,” he said.






Shrinking government income


On the income side, the challenges are not any less, Nurhisham said.

“We are talking about the evolution of the workforce.

“Even today, if we look at the EPF membership, we have close to 15 million in the labour force and less than half are in the EPF system.

“And out of this, only about two thirds of the contributors have a regular salary,” he said.

This, he said, meant that only about four million people were getting paid on a regular basis.

Citing Industry 4.0 and the internet revolution, Nurhisham says it is inevitable that the culture of work in the future would change.

“People will be less inclined to take salaried jobs and there will be more freelancers - it will be all about the gig and sharing economy.

“This means less salaried work, and it is going to have an impact in terms of income tax collection,” he explains.

This, he stressed, showed the need for a shift in thinking about how the government would fund its activities in the future.

Another issue is the demand for crude oil, which is likely to be reduced in the future.

Several governments, including the UK, France and China have already outlined plans to ban petrol vehicles by 2030.

“Demand will probably be good for the next few years as Opec extends production cuts, but in the long term, revenue from the energy sector is going to continue to decrease,” he said.

While the pressure on households and the government was less this year in terms of revenue, due to the projected increase in income from stabilising crude oil prices, Nurhisham said he was concerned about the medium to long term.





The fiscal deficit

Commenting on arguments about whether the government’s projected fiscal deficit should be lower than the announced 2.8%, in view of the current “good times”, Nurhisham said he was of the opinion that the government needed to first look at how it plans to handle the imminent changes in expenditure and revenue.

“There are gaps in our social safety net, in the income side, as well as in health and education that we have to cover.

“For me, it is not about whether we should be running a surplus or deficit. I think it is a question of what kind of society we want, and what we want the government to do about it.

“Then we can figure out how much of surplus or deficit we require to fund this,” he says.

He added that one of the reasons why Malaysia has been running a fiscal deficit over the past years is because private investment has been poor, and this required the government to step in to fill the gap.

“We need to have a more nuanced thinking about this and we need to think more about longer term implications.


TAGS / KEYWORDS:
Economy , Budget 2018


Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/10/31/budget-2018-epf-panelist-warns-of-rising-expenditure-and-shrinking-tax-revenue/#8x6Q0sKUXVXQtLqC.99

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2017, 09:48:19 AM »




BN will unveil new taxes to fulfil Budget 2018, Anwar warns
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PETALING JAYA: Jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today warned that Barisan Nasional (BN) will likely unveil new taxes or increase the existing goods and services tax (GST) if it wins in the coming general election (GE14).

He said this was because Budget 2018, unveiled last week by Prime Minister Najib Razak, failed to show how the government plans to balance revenue and expenditure.

“How will this government deliver on its many budget promises when it has not shown how it will increase revenue? This is not revealed anywhere in the budget.

“Therefore, there is only one obvious explanation: new taxes or increased and broadened GST will be imposed,” he said in a statement.

In the Dewan Rakyat last Friday, Najib presented what he called “the mother of all budgets”.

The RM280.25 billion budget was up 7.5% from this year’s allocated budget of RM260.8 billion.

Spending will include aid packages worth RM6.5 billion for farmers, fisherman and rubber tappers, the largest allocation yet for the groups who are among key voters for the BN coalition.

Najib also allocated RM6.5 billion for rural infrastructure development, and waived tolls from key highways in several cities. Big allocations were also made for road projects and schools.

Anwar said these promises were made “in a transparent effort to hoodwink the people into supporting BN” in GE14.

“The rakyat will have to dig deep into their pockets to enable BN to deliver their budget promises,” he added.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2017, 10:14:12 AM »




Tax relief, not 2% cut, better for middle class, says expert
Melati A. Jalil
Melati A. Jalil
Updated about 3 hours ago · Published on 6 Nov 2017 7:00AM · 0 comments
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Tax relief, not 2% cut, better for middle class, says expert
Opposition supporters outside Parliament on Budget 2018 day on October 27. They protesters wanted the government to end the weekly fuel price fluctuation, which makes it hard for families to budget. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, November 6, 2017.

WITH Budget 2018 deemed an election budget, the 2% tax cut for middle-income earners is clearly geared towards a group of voters who shunned Barisan Nasional in the last general election in 2013.

But instead of a cut, a special tax relief would have been more helpful, said taxation expert Dr Veerinderjeet Singh.

A relief will also be more targeted that a tax cut, as higher-income earners will benefit from the cut, yet not need it as much, the Axcelasia Taxand Sdn Bhd chairman said.

“All of us who pay taxes will benefit because we all have the scale rate.


“It would have been better to give a special relief to those who have taxable income within the RM20,000 to RM70,000 income band. It’s similar to a lifestyle relief.   

“(The relief) will only benefit them (the RM20,000-RM70,000 income band). Then for the high-income earners, you can still use the same tax table, so they won’t get the personal relief,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a 2% reduction in the tax rate for those earning between RM20,001 and RM70,000.

The move by the government to reach out to the M40 group (household incomes between RM3,860 and RM8,319) is no surprise ahead of the 14th general election that must be called before next August.

During GE13, the bulk of M40 voters, who reside in urban and semi-urban areas, supported the opposition.

Out of the 165 seats in the peninsula, Barisan Nasional took 85 seats while the opposition won 80. But out the 85 federal seats BN won, 66 were rural seats while 14 were semi-urban and five were urban seats.

Veerinderjeet said the government could do what it did few years ago, by giving a one-off personal relief to the middle-income group.

“If you change the rates it will benefit everyone. So, for the rich, they will also get the legal advantage although it’s small to them. Since you want to target the M40 group, why give to those who are in the top tier?

“If the objective is only to help the M40, then the special relief is the best way.” 

In Budget 2014 and the revised Budget 2016, the government announced a special tax relief of RM2,000 for those earning RM8,000 and below per month.

According to the Inland Revenue Board 2014 annual report, there were around 2.33 million individual taxpayers out of 14 million employees in Malaysia. However, IRB does not provide information about the distribution of taxpayers according to the respective tax bands.

Taxation expert Dr Veerinderjeet Singh says a one-off personal relief to the middle-income group is better than a tax cut which will also benefit those earning more. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 6, 2017.
Taxation expert Dr Veerinderjeet Singh says a one-off personal relief to the middle-income group is better than a tax cut which will also benefit those earning more. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 6, 2017.
Will it really help?

Muhammad Hanafi Idris, 35, whose chargeable income is RM60,000, said although he would have RM800 extra next year following the tax rate cut, he was still uncertain how the money would really help reduce his family’s monthly expenses.

“The extra money still can’t cover much although I will get an extra RM66 every month but milk for my newborn baby costs me around RM80 monthly.   So, I don’t know how it can really help me in terms of cost of living.

“What really helps is if the government can increase the maximum amount for child relief,” the father of four said.

The civil engineer, who works part-time as an insurance agent, said he spends around RM900 monthly for his children’s day care, as both he and his wife are working full-time.

“If they were to increase the amount of relief for children below six, it would be better because the cost of raising a child aged six and below is getting more expensive. Day-care centres are charging more for babies. The standard price is around RM300 per baby in Shah Alam.”

For the assessment year 2017, the tax relief limit for childcare fees (childcare centre or kindergarten) is RM1,000 and ordinary child relief limit is RM2,000 annually.

Hafizi Muhammad from Klang said he would only get RM300 extra as his chargeable income was RM35,000.

“I don’t think the difference will be felt. Maybe I can use the extra money on daily things because the most I can do with the money is to have a special dinner out with my family or a day out in the city with my children.”

He said he would probably spend the extra money as he already had savings from his monthly salary set aside.

AmBank Group chief economist Anthony Dass said the extra money would help M40 group to sustain their standard of living.

“This kind of deduction will free up some money for them although there will be a small percentage of them who will put the extra money into savings. But most of them will spend because the marginal propensity to consume is quite high, 75 sen for one ringgit earned will be on spending.

“I think we will see a pick-up in private consumption, and it will help the economy,”   he said.

Economist Lee Heng Guie said the lower rate will help those who will no longer have to pay income tax to have some savings.

It is estimated that more than 261,000 people will be exempted from paying income tax following the 2% cut.

“These people will have some savings because of the adjustment, so it matters to them.

“It’s a good thing for our economy, because if the government can afford it, they should put the money back into the pocket of the rakyat, instead of giving big allocations to the ministries where we don’t know whether the money will flow to the people,” the Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director said. – November 6, 2017.

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2017, 02:13:09 PM »




November 9, 2017
Budget 2018: Malaysia throws cash into middle-income trap
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bajet-2018-Malaysia-throws-cash-into-middle-income-trap-1TOKYO: Prime Minister Najib Razak says his 2018 “mother of all budgets” will propel Malaysia into the ranks of the world’s top economies.

Its RM6 billion of handouts will enrich farmers, fishermen, rubber traders and other interests.

However, in terms of upgrading competitiveness, it falls woefully short.

Najib has talked a good reform game since he assumed control of Umno – the party that has dominated the country for 70 years – in 2009.

He pledged to dismantle a 46-year-old affirmative-action programme championed by his father, former Prime Minister Abdul Razak, which afforded the ethnic Malay majority preferred access to government jobs, universities and housing.

He also promised to lower trade barriers. But apart from implementing the goods and services tax (GST) in April 2015, nothing much else has happened.

Instead, Najib stuck with the low-wage manufacturing formula, delaying a transformation to a higher-value services economy.

Even as Chinese companies began eating into Malaysia’s export market share, Najib protected government-linked companies (GLCs) at the expense of the more competitive private sector.

As a result, per capita income looks stalled at US$9,500 (RM38,000) a year, suggesting Malaysia is snared in the “middle-income trap”, a term referring to the economic plateau many developing nations reach as incomes near US$10,000 per annum and cheap labour cost advantages evaporate.

The scandal surrounding 1MDB may have sapped what appetite for reform the prime minister had left.

Set up by Najib, the fund remains at the heart of multi-billion-dollar embezzlement and money laundering probes ranging from Washington to Zurich.

This latest budget is heavy on goodies, such as eliminating tolls on highways through politically-contested districts, and it throws more bonuses at the bloated civil service.

It is otherwise devoid of fresh ideas to increase innovation, boost wage equality, reduce living costs, or share more of the 5.2% growth rate with non-Malays.

Since 2015 Malaysia has fallen five places in the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report, to 23rd from 18th.

The giveaways may be an attempt to fight off a comeback by Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and is credited for transforming the country into an Asian tiger.

Mahathir had dismissed Najib’s spending priorities as “sweets”.

Meanwhile, the government denies that economic progress has paused. However, this complacent budget won’t move Malaysia forward

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Re: BUDGET 2018
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2017, 03:02:13 PM »




Analysts: Consumer sector still slow, Budget 2018 won’t help much
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Budget 2018 proposals to spur consumer spending is not likely to have any significant long-term effect. That seems to be the view of economic analysts and research houses.

Most analysts think, according to a report in The Edge, the measures will only give a temporary boost. The report said research houses were, therefore, maintaining their neutral call on the consumer products sector.

Among the measures to improve consumer spending proposed by Finance Minister Najib Razak in Budget 2018 were reducing income tax rates by two percentage points for certain tax brackets and a special allowance of RM1,500 for civil servants next year.

“The income tax cut, which increases disposable income by a maximum of RM1,000, will only have a small impact on those within those tax brackets. If you divide that RM1,000 over one year, it is less than RM100 per month,” The Edge quoted Areca Capital CEO Danny Wong as saying.

The special allowance for civil servants, Wong said, would probably help ease day-to-day expenditure but would not help improve consumer sentiment.

The report said that, year to date, the KLCI Consumer Product Index had gained 8.35% to 624.89 points, a little better than the benchmark index, which gained 6.23% to 1,743.93 points over the same period.

For the third quater of 2017, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research’s Consumer Sentiment Survey saw the index declining slightly to 77.1 points from 80.7 points in the previous quarter.

MIDF Research analyst Nabil Zainoodin was quoted as saying the Budget 2018 proposals, particularly BR1M and the personal income tax cuts, would have an immediate impact in stimulating consumer spending for the M40 and B40 category.

This will mostly benefit food and beverage companies (F&B), and that too only for the short term. “The ever increasing input costs will put pressure on F&B players to further increase prices,” he added,

The Edge said Maybank Investment Bank Research was more positive on the measures, although it also maintained its neutral stance on the sector.

“We are positive on these measures that essentially will help provide support to consumer demand into 2018 and alleviate some of the cost pressure on households. Companies we think will benefit from these measures would be those that offer mass market consumer goods like Nestle, Bison Consolidated Bhd, 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Aeon Co (M) Bhd and even Padini Holdings Bhd, Oldtown Bhd and Berjaya Food Bhd,” it said in a report.

Areca Capital’s Wong said if the ringgit fared better against the US dollar, it would also help the consumer sector.