Reports by MARTIN CARVALHO, HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN
BUDGET 2020 is a capitalist budget as it serves the rich and ignores the poor, says Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
He said rural areas had been left out in the Budget.
“The rich are prioritised while the poor and needy aren’t cared for.
“The saddest part is that there are no new policies or special initiatives on a big scale to improve the quality of life for people in the rural areas, and the needy, ” he said in his speech on Budget 2020 yesterday.
Ismail Sabri, who is Bera MP, argued that several initiatives introduced in Budget 2020 were aimed at safeguarding the interests of capitalists.
He said among them was the income tax exemption for new investments in international theme parks.
In Budget 2020, new investments in international theme parks are given a 100% income tax exemption from statutory income or the Investment Tax Allowance of 100% to be set off against 70% for five years.
The former agriculture and agro-based industry minister also questioned the government on why the fisherman allowance was reduced to a mere RM250 compared to RM300 under the Barisan Nasional administration.
“During challenging times, this allowance should have been increased, not slashed.
“We need specific policies and plans to improve the livelihood and income of these people, ” he said.
Ismail Sabri pointed out that the policy to lower the threshold for foreigners to buy properties in Malaysia would benefit profit-oriented developers.
He also said PAS-ruled states Kelantan and Terengganu were neglected under Budget 2020 as there were no allocations for high-impact projects in the two states.
“Kelantan and Terengganu should have received allocations for high-impact projects because the income per capita of its residents is low, ” he said.
Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baru), who interjected, said the two states would only receive two new schools, one each in Tumpat and Marang.
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