Chinese groups laud measures

PETALING JAYA: Several influential Chinese organisations gave their thumbs up to Budget 2020, saying many of the measures will help to spur the economy and accelerate growth.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the government had crafted a “positive people’s budget” that addressed problems and challenges across all sectors of society.

“Despite the current economic constraints, the budget has focused on expanding the economy, attracting more investments, growing foreign markets and focusing on driving the economy into the digital era.

“Sufficient initiatives and incentives have been provided towards the development of human capital, SMEs, export promotion, enhancement of innovation activities and the overall ease of doing business, ” he said in a statement.

Soh also lauded the government for its plan to strengthen the local workforce with an allocation of RM6.5bil to create 350,000 jobs for Malaysians and to reduce dependence on foreign workers.

He added that the allocation of RM524mil to intensify public sector R&D would benefit the industry and innovation activities, seen as key to a high-tech and high value-added economy.

Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) said Budget 2020 was a “painless budget” with more funds set aside for Chinese schools, plans for mega projects receiving the go ahead and tax burden on SMEs reduced.

Its president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan said the allocation for Chinese independent high schools had been raised to RM15mil, from RM12mil previously.

He also welcomed the confirmation for the construction of Bandar Malaysia, Johor-Singapore Rapid Transit System and continuation of the Pan-Borneo Highway project.

Goh said it was good news that SMEs would get to enjoy lower taxes and that the plight of rubber and oil palm smallholders, as well as fishermen, was being heeded.

He added that the government had also increased allocations for Sabah and Sarawak by 100%, paying more attention to the people’s interests.

“The government should be commended for adopting smart measures and prudence, and due consideration given to the lower segment of society, despite facing high national debts, ” said Goh.

Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said Malaysia should seize the US-China trade war opportunity to attract more foreign direct investments into the country.

Lauding the government’s effort to set up the National Committee on Investment (NCI), Ter said the government needed to act fast, including getting all aspects ready to bring in these FDIs.

“It’s important we grab this window of opportunity and quickly get ourselves ready with the ecosystem and infrastructure, including expediting the approval process and

having more industrial parks, ” he said during a National Budget 2020 forum yesterday.

Ter described Budget 2020 as “expansionary yet responsible” and lauded the RM100mil as small business loans for the Chinese community.

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