KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Budget 2021, which is set to be unveiled on Nov 6, will be framed across four broad themes – caring for the people; steering the economy; sustainable living and enhancing public service delivery.
This will be part of the government’s 6R strategy under the “revitalise” stage to give the economy a jumpstart after it was trampled by the coronavirus (Covid-19).
“On caring for the people, the first goals of the Prihatin and Penjana packages are to protect and empower the rakyat. The government believes that we can empower the spirit of unity in diversity to build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems, to create a fairer and more wholesome future, ” Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in his speech telecasted live at Invest Malaysia 2020 from his office in Putrajaya.
He added that education, employment, social protection and social mobility will feature prominently in Budget 2021.
To steer the economy, Tengku Zafrul said this will include enduring a gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2021, increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) and consumer confidence.
International agencies have since been forecast to be in the range of between 6.3% and 7.5%, subject to Malaysia’s continuous success in managing Covid-19.
Being an open economy, the former banker said whether Malaysia will have a U- or V-shaped recovery will depend on external factors; the recovery of its major trading partners and restoration of global supply chains, among them.
Tengku Zafrul stressed that an equally important area was to enhance the usage of technology and digitalisation across various public and private sectors to spur economic growth. “I am pleased to announce that we will facilitate greater diversity in intermediary models in the securities market, such as algorithmic trading platforms, digital-only brokers and more. “
The Securities Commission (SC), working in tandem with Bursa Malaysia, will be enabling a more facilitative market structure, allowing for more flexible business models with more efficient capital structure.
“We believe that this will also spur greater innovation, create greater diversity in market participants and most importantly enhance value for investors, ” Tengku Zafrul said, adding that Bursa Malaysia, the SC and Bank Negara have continuously introduced and supported measures to further increase transparency, dynamism, and vibrancy of the capital and financial markets.
All these efforts are expected to contribute towards the country’s economic recovery and growth into 2021. Tengku Zafrul also noted that the pandemic has not slowed down the momentum for sustainable investing. In fact, many markets including the US, saw companies that practised ESG principles performing better.