M’sians hope for more financial help

Hopeful: (From left) Thamil Arasee, Hafizah and Ngui are among citizens who are looking forward to good news in Budget 2021

GEORGE TOWN: The high cost of education and low salary of graduates are among several causes of concern for the people, with many looking forward to some good news in the coming Budget 2021.

Senior bank executive S. Thamil Arasee said she had to set aside money for her three children, aged between 17 and 22, for their studies.“Higher education is expensive nowadays, so some form of aid from the government, at least at the diploma level, will be helpful.

“PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) is a study loan, which would be a burden on the students.

‘’If the diploma level education is free, at least it would be easier for both parents and their children.

“I hope Budget 2021 will address these issues as the bulk of our household income goes towards children’s education, ” said the 45-year-old.

Third-year university student Hafizah Mohd Abdullah, 22, said the government should find ways to increase the salary of fresh graduates, which is currently hovering between RM1,800 and RM2,000.

“We will not be able to sustain ourselves with such a low salary. There will not be much left if we have to pay our car and PTPTN loans.“These days, many are getting married at a younger age but it is almost impossible to make plans for a wedding with such a meagre pay.

“If the government can fix a minimum salary for graduates at RM2,500, then the private sector will follow suit, ” said Hafizah, who is pursuing an IT degree at a local college.

Aaron Ngui, 37, who is a global projects head at a multinational company, urged the government to implement a universal basic income (UBI), which is a fixed cash payment to all citizens of Malaysia who have registered to vote.

“This will provide financial stability to households who face unstable income, especially during an economic fallout caused by diseases, economic shifts or technological advancements.

“At least, it will narrow the gap in the public social safety net, especially for families facing financial difficulties during trying times, ’’ he said.

Ngui added that the government could seek the assistance of government-linked companies or government-controlled business entities to extract the UBI.

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Budget 2021


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