KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) has proposed an allocation of RM280.25bil for Budget 2018.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, arrived at the Parliament building at 3.10pm, before making his way to the Dewan Rakyat and starting his speech at 3.35pm.
Here are the main points of his speech (the full text can be read here):
– A total of RM280.25bil has been allocated for Budget 2018, an increase of RM19.45bil over the 2017 budget allocation of RM260.8bil.
– Of the total figure, RM234.45bil is for administration, the remaining RM46bil is for development.
– Malaysia's income per capita is expected to rise to RM42,777 by 2018, median monthly income in the country has risen from RM4,585 in 2014 to RM5,288 in 2016.
– The Budget 2018 theme is: Prosper with Inclusive Economy, Balancing duniawi (worldly) and ukhrawi (hereafter) excellence to better the lives of the rakyat towards #TN50 aspirations.
– Budget 2018 has eight core thrusts.
– The first thrust is to enhance investment, trade and industry.
– Amount of domestic investment is expected to increase by 6.7%.
– Private investments are expected to touch RM260bil in 2018, in line with goals to make the private sector an engine of growth.
– Pulau Pangkor to be declared a tax-free zone (excluding liquor, cigarettes and motor vehicles).
– RM30mil allocation for the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) to implement initiatives, among them to promote Malaysia as the Asian Hub for Fertility Treatment, IVF and Cardiology; to introduce the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme.
– Construction of the MRT3 or Circle Line to be completed by 2025, earlier than the initial target of 2027.
– The second thrust is towards achieving TN50 aspirations.
– Every Malaysian child born from Jan 1, 2018 until 2022, will be given RM200 worth of Amanah Saham units in new fund called Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050 or ADAM50.
– RM2.2bil for scholarship grants under the Public Service Department (JPA), Higher Education Ministry and Health Ministry
– RM400mil for research grants and development for public universities, including special allocation to Universiti Malaya to become one of the Top 100 universities globally.
– RM90mil allocated for MyBrain Programme for 10,600 people to further their studies at the Masters and Doctorate level.
– University and Form Six student to continue receiving book vouchers worth RM250, benefiting 1.2mil students.
– RM1bil for initiatives spanning FitMalaysia, National Sports Day, athlete programmes, grassroots programme and the national football development programme.
– RM20mil for the Bukit Jalil Sports School to upgrade its facilities as a premier sports school.
– Third Thrust: Excellence in Education Development, Training, Skills and Talent, a total of RM61.6bil for this sector
– RM550mil allocated to special fund for improvement and upkeep of schools, as follows:
RM250mil for national schools; RM50mil for Chinese schools; RM50mil for Tamil schools; RM50mil for Mubaligh (missionary) schools; RM50mil for full boarding schools; RM50mil for Maktab Rendah Sains Mara, RM50mil for government-aided religious schools.
– Government to extend discount on repayment of PTPTN loans until Dec 31, 2018, grace period for PTPTN loan repayments extended to 12 months after graduating, loans for those furthering studies can now be combined.
– Fourth Thrust: Driving inclusive development
– RM6.5bil Budget 2018 allocation for rural development includes:
RM2bil for the Pan-Borneo Highway; RM1.1bil to upgrade bridges, streetlights, villages, surau and markets; RM1bil for SKMM to upgrade the communication infrastructure and broadband facilities in Sabah and Sarawak; RM934mil for rural road projects, including almost RM500mil for Sabah and Sarawak; RM672mil for electricity supplies, including RM620mil for Sabah and Sarawak involving 10,000 rural homes; RM420mil including almost RM300mil for Sabah and Sarawak provided for clean water supply involving 3,000 homes; RM500mil allocated for the Public Infrastructure Maintenance Programme and Basic Infrastructure Project; RM50mil for mapping and measurement of custom lands, in which RM30mil is for Sarawak and RM20mil for Sabah.
– Almost RM9bil allocated for Royal Malaysian Police, including RM720mil to build 11 headquarters and six police stations, purchase of new firearms and operational vehicles, RM170mil to upgrade ICT equipment, including 1PDRMnet system.
– Over RM14bil allocated for the Armed Forces, including RM3bil for purchase and maintenance of defence assets and RM250mil for Esscom to enhance coastal security controls in Sabah and Sarawak.
– Fifth thrust: Prioritising well-being of rakyat and income-making opportunities
– two percentage point reduction in income tax for the middle income (M40) group with household income of RM9,000 and below, benefiting 2.3mil taxpayers.
– Individual tax rate reduced by two percentage points, for those with chargeable income from RM20,000 to RM70,000.
– Move to increase rakyat's disposable income by around RM300 to RM1,000, resulting in an estimated excess of RM1.5bil in disposable income.
– New tax rates for three income brackets as follows:
1) RM20,001 to RM35,000 (3%)
2) RM35,001 to RM50,000 (8%)
3) RM50,001 to RM70,000 (14%)
– Over 261,000 people no longer have to pay income tax.
– Budget 2018 still includes up to RM3.9bil in subsidies, for items, goods and transport, cooking gas, flour, cooking oil, electric subsidies and toll.
– Toll collection to be abolished at Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau in Selangor; Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah and at Eastern Dispersal Link, Johor from Jan 1, 2018.
– Mandatory maternity leave for private sector to be increased from 60 to 90 days; women returning to work after two years to enjoy tax exemption for 12 consecutive months.
– RM27bil allocation to improve healthcare, including RM1.4bil to upgrade and maintain health facilities, medical equipment and ambulances; RM100mil to upgrade hospitals and clinics electrical/wiring systems.
– Cost of hiring foreign domestic helpers to be reduced, employers can employ foreign domestic helper directly from nine source countries without going through an agent.
– Zero-rate GST for all reading materials, extended to cover all magazines, comics, journals and periodicals from Jan 1, 2018.
– Sixth thrust: Preparing for the fourth Industrial Revolution and the Digital Economy
– RM5bil for Green Technology scheme, RM1.4bil for non-revenue water programme, RM1.3bil for off-river storage, RM517mil for flood mitigation.
– RM83.5mil for Phase 1 DFTZ Aeropolis; minimum value for imports raised to RM800 from RM500 so Malaysia can be the regional e-commerce hub.
– Seventh thrust: Enhancing efficiency and delivery of government-linked companies (GLC) and public service.
– GLC employees to enjoy increased benefits such as flexible working hours, childcare centres in offices.
– Increase allowance for senior citizens to RM350 per month, RM50 increase for working and unemployed People with Disabilities (PWD) as well as caretakers.
– Eighth thrust: Balancing between the par excellence of the worldly and the hereafter.
– Retirement benefits for public servants who retire on medical reasons.
– Cash in lieu of accumulated leave of more than 150 days during the retirement year.
– Women more than five months' pregnant and husband can leave work an hour earlier, provided both working in the same location.
– Maximum of 90 days maternity leave a year, total leave allowed is now 360 days.
– Minimum pension of RM1,000 per month.
– Medical facilities extended to parents of retirees.
– Special assistance of RM1,500 to Village Heads and Tok Batin
– Upgrading and maintaining wiring systems in all registered religious schools by GiatMara
– Monthly allowance and one-off RM1,500 payment for imam, bilal, Kafa and takmir teachers.
– A special payment of RM1,500 be given to all public servants, RM1,000 in January 2018 and the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
– Special payment of RM750 to Government retirees, RM500 in January 2018 and the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.