PETALING JAYA: The upcoming Budget 2020 should be geared towards improving the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), which reflects the long-term economic interest of Malaysia.
Tan Eu Chye, who is a professor at Universiti Malaya’s Department of Economics said fiscal incentives in the upcoming budget should be enhanced to stimulate private sector involvement in new and innovative businesses.
“As a major employment generator, assistance may be extended to small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate their acquisition of digital technology, ” he said in an email.
Budget 2020 will be tabled next Friday.
To encourage the adoption of IR4.0, Tan urged the government to raise the levy on foreign workers in order to discourage the hiring of unskilled foreign labour.
He said foreign labour results in the country’s gross national product (GNP) to be low compared to its gross domestic product (GDP), stressing that growth of GNP in the country is more important compared to GDP.
“The easy access to foreign workers discourages automation and mechanization of industries. It keeps wages depressed, pricing locals out of the labour market, or they have to be contented with low wages.
“For national development to be inclusive and to be in line with the national agenda of prosperity sharing, it should not be the wish of employers to maintain wide profit margins through hiring of cheap foreign labour, ” Tan noted.
On the other hand, he said operating expenditure should be trimmed in the Budget with an option of freezing staff recruitment in government departments, while increasing the allocation on development expenditure.
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