As we near the end of the year, 2019, Malaysians have been anticipating the table of Budget 2020 that was announced today by the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng.
This is the second federal budget under Pakatan Harapan's (PH) administration since taking Putrajaya in the 14th General Election in May last year.
Here are some key highlights of Budget 2020, themed Shared Prosperity.
At a glance:
- RM297 billion/18.4% of the GDP
- RM241 bil/81.1% of expenditure
- RM56 bil for development expenditure
- GDP expected to grow by 4.7% this year and improving to 4.8% in 2020, while inflation is expected to remain well anchored at 2% in 2020.
- Cost of Living Allowance: Increased by RM50/month for support group; RM350m additional annually
- Early Redemption of Accumulated Leaves up to 75 days
- LPPSA free personal accident nisurance for two years to new Gov. Housing Loan borrowers.
- Ex-Gratia Death Benefit up to Rm150k payable to dependants
- PGT brought forward for civil servants who have died in service before TPG
- RM10b for Rent To Own, effective for first-time homebuyers who cannot afford 10% downpayment of homes worth up to RM500,000
- Applicants enter into a 5-year rental agreement, option to buy after the first year
- Threshold decreased for foreign buyers from RM1m to RM600k for urban properties; to address glut in unsold homes
- Youth Housing Scheme by BSN extended until 2021
- RM10m for repair & refurbishment of public housing
- Home Ownership Campaign extended up to Dec 31, 2019
- As much as 18% discounts will be given at all Plus Highway toll booths. The 18% discount on toll charges for the North South Highway will save highway users up to RM1.13bil in 2020, and RM43billion over the entire concession period until 2038.
- As part of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, toll abolishment will be carried out in stages.
- Introducing 500 electric buses in various sizes at selected cities - estimated cost of RM450m period until 2038.
Repair, Replace, Restore
- RM330m to Property and Land Management Division under Prime Miniter's Dept to repair & maintain public service quarters.
- RM150m and RM250m allocated for repair and refurbishment of Malaysian Armed Forces housing units and PDRM quarters respectively.
- To improve the infrastructure in rural areas, the government will allocate RM587mil for water supply projects, with RM470mil being allocated to Sabah and Sarawak.
- RM500mil will be allocated for electric supply projects outside towns, with this expecting to benefit some 30,000 households.
- Also, RM1bil will be allocated to improve roads nationwide, with RM325mil going to Sabah and RM224mil going to Sarawak.
- RM50mil will be allocated for repair works and maintenance of roads leading to Port Klang.
- This is in preparation to shape Port Klang into a regional maritime centre and a logistics hub consolidating manufacturing, distribution, cargo unification, bunkering and ship repair.
- To further promote health tourism, the government will allocate RM25mil to the Malaysian Health Travel Council.
- RM1.1bil will be allocated to the Tourism, Culture and Arts Ministry to further promote the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VM2020) campaign.
- The capital allowance will be expedited for the purchase and upgrading of new tour buses for VM2020.
- Licensed tour agents will also be allowed to submit bulk visa application through the eNTRI and eVISA systems.
- To further promote health tourism in the country, the government will allocate RM25mil to the Malaysian Health Travel Council.
Visit Malaysia 2020
- Target of 30 million tourists
- 50% of tourist tax income to State Govs.
- RM1.1 bil allocated to MOTAC
- RM90 million to improve and campaigns
- Departure Levy to fund Tourism Infrastructure
- Gov to create tax incentive
- Exemption for organizers of arts, culture, and int'l competition
- Tax deduction up to RM1 mil for companies that focus on creative, culture
- Modal allowance for purchase of CKD buses
Sabah and Sarawak
- Sabah and Sarawak continue to receive the bulk of the Federal Government's financial allocation, with RM1.3bil for Sarawak and RM1.14bil for Sabah.
- The government will also increase the special grants to Sabah and Sarawak to RM53.4mil and RM32mil respectively.
- The special grants under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution have not been reviewed since 1969. The grants will be increased to RM106.8mil for Sabah and RM64mil for Sarawak in the next five years
“Let’s strengthen national unity and integration towards building a better life and brighter future for our children.”
- Lim Guan Eng, Budget 2020