A Rakyat-centric Budget 2018

October 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

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27 OCTOBER 2017
PRESS STATEMENT

BY YB DATO’ SRI LIOW TIONG LAI
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT &
PRESIDENT OF MCA

Liow: A Rakyat-centric Budget 2018
B40s and M40s given priority, taps growth prospects for nation

Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak has outlined a truly definitive plan to realise our nation’s growth potential during the tabling of the Budget today. There is no doubt that Budget 2018 is all-inclusive and holistic in paving the way for growth, underscoring the Government of Malaysia’s strong commitment to cater to the needs of the Rakyat.

As a people-centric Budget, the measures are highly attuned to the welfare of Malaysians, especially those who fall under the B40 and M40 income groups. In particular, M40 households, which are defined as those with a monthly income below RM9,000, will benefit from a reduction in income tax. In addition, more than 260,000 Malaysians will no longer fall under the tax-paying bracket.

These are tangible, positive initiatives to provide the Rakyat with higher disposable income, thus better addressing cost of living.

As the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have also been allocated incentives to encourage their development, given their significant contribution to our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Indeed, SME entrepreneurs within the Chinese community will receive aid from the Government amounting to RM50 million in soft loans via KOJADI. Moreover, petty traders and hawkers will also benefit from soft loans totalling RM30 million.

Education has long been one of MCA’s core agenda, and we are greatly heartened by YAB PM’s decision to allocate RM50 million to fund National-type Chinese Schools (SJKCs). Beyond this, Chinese New Villages will be receiving significant funding of RM75 million for development and repairs. This is testament to Barisan Nasional’s strength and unity as a multi-racial coalition that cares for all Malaysians.

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Connectivity and transportation infrastructure remain crucial to the growth of a nation. To this end, the Government has rightly allocated RM10.48 billion for the development of the land, maritime and aviation transport sectors, from rail projects and highways as well as new and expanded airports.

These developments augur well for our logistics industry, particularly as our nation embraces the digital economy with the creation of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). With the first phase of the DFTZ expected to attract investments worth RM700 million and create 2,500 job opportunities, Malaysia is on track to grow as a regional e-commerce hub.

It is clear that at a time when the global economy remains challenging, Budget 2018 holds the potential to leapfrog the Malaysian economy to greater heights. Most importantly, it is an affirmative plan to ensure that Malaysia’s per capita income continues to grow.

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