(FULL TEXT) Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 2018 Budget speech (Part 2)

113. Furthermore, to inculcate the culture of savings for education, a sum of RM250 million is provided to 500,000 contributors aged 7 to 12 years under National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN-i Plus) which was rebranded as Skim Simpanan Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SSP1M) managed by PTPTN. A matching grant of RM500 will be provided to contributors with a total contribution of at least RM500 and only can be withdrawn upon attaining the age of 18 years.

114. In addition, individual income tax relief for net savings in the SSP1M up to RM6,000 be extended for another 3 years, effective from year of assessment 2018.

Enhancing Technical and Vocational Education Training

115. The Government is aware about the importance of transformation in the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in producing highly skilled and competitive workforce. In this regard, all TVET institutions under seven ministries have been merged and known as “TVET Malaysia” under the purview of the Ministry of Human Resources.

116. In addition, a sum of RM4.9 billion is allocated to implement TVET Malaysia Masterplan.

117. To encourage TVET graduates to pursue their studies, the Government will also provide 100 TVET Outstanding Student Scholarships with an allocation of RM4.5 million.

118. To support the development of skilled workers in the rail sector, the Government will establish the National Rail Centre of Excellence (NRCOE) to oversee and coordinate quality assurance as well as accreditation of national rail education and training. In addition, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. in collaboration with IPTAs will train 3,000 professionals in this industry.

FOURTH THRUST: DRIVING INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT

Providing Quality Infra-Rakyat

119. In progressing towards a developed nation, quality infrastructure and interconnectivity will be modernised.

120. Hence, the Government will continue to focus on world class infra-rakyat projects. For example, The MRT Line Sungai Buloh – Kajang Line was successfully completed with a daily capacity of 400,000 commuters.

121. MRT is a success story where not only completed the project ahead of schedule but also managed to save RM2 billion from the initial construction costs.

122. As for the infrastructure facilities in Sabah and Sarawak, the Government has fulfilled its promise through the construction of Pan-Borneo Highway.

123. The Pan-Borneo is expected to enhance connectivity and invigorate economic activities in Sabah and Sarawak, including rural and remote areas such as Kapit-Ulu Song.

124. To provide basic infrastructure in the rural areas, a sum of RM6.5 billion is allocated, among others:

First: A sum of RM2 billion is allocated for Pan Borneo Highway. For Sarawak, all the 11 construction packages have been tendered, while five out of 35 packages in the First Phase in Sabah have been awarded and the remaining 12 is under tender process;

Second: A sum of RM1.1 billion is allocated for Rakyat-centric projects including building and upgrading of bridges, village street lights, musolla, small bridges and markets;

Third: A sum of RM1 billion is allocated through Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to develop communication infrastructures and broadband facilities in Sabah and Sarawak;

Fourth: A sum of RM934 million is allocated for the construction of rural roads, including almost RM500 million for Sabah and Sarawak;

Fifth: An allocation of RM672 million for electricity supply in rural areas, including RM620 million for Sabah and Saraw ak, benefitting 10,000 rural homes.

As a whole, since 2009, subsidy worth more than RM100 billion has been spent, including gas to generate cheap, quality and reliable electricity supply for the rakyat.

Sixth: A sum of RM420 million, including almost RM300 million for Sabah and Sarawak is allocated to provide clean water supply, benefiting 3,000 homes;

Seventh: A sum of RM500 million for the Public Infrastructure Maintenance Programme and Basic Infrastructure Project to meet the needs and wish list of the rakyat at the grassroots level; and

Eighth: A sum of RM50 million is allocated for surveying and mapping of customary lands, of which RM30 million for Sarawak and RM20 million for Sabah.

A part of the rakyat-centric projects will be implemented through private financing initiatives.

National Blue Ocean Shift

125. National Blue Ocean Shift (NBOS) will continue to be implemented at a faster pace and in an integrated manner at a low cost with high impact.

126. For 2018, a sum RM300 million is allocated to implement NBOS programmes, including construction of new UTCs, Blue Ocean Entrepreneur Township, Mobile CTC, entrepreneurship programmes, Global Entrepreneurship Community as well as inclusive and vibrant Social Entrepreneurs.

The Welfare of FELDA Settlers

127. The Government continues to safeguard the welfare of FELDA settlers. More than 112,000 settlers received six main incentives, including Settlers Special Incentive of RM5,000.

128. The Government will reimburse the cess money that had been paid by settlers for replanting scheme from rubber to oil palm from 2010 to 2016. This will benefit 8,925 FELDA settlers with an allocation of RM43 million. In addition, a sum of RM60 million will be provided for oil palm replanting programme.

129. Furthermore, a sum of RM164 million is allocated to build 5,000 Second Generation FELDA Homes in collaboration with SPNB.

130. In addition, nearly RM200 million is provided for FELDA to supply water and upgrade road as well as street lights.

More importantly, the Government will always safeguard the welfare of FELDA settlers.

Security and Public Order

131. To counter terrorism and extremism such as IS and DAESH, the Government has established a Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Communications Centre.

132. In addition, the Government will increase safety at the borders and enhance public order with an allocation of RM14 billion for Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), almost RM9 billion for Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and more than RM900 million to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM).

133. Among the main programmes are:

First: A sum of RM3 billion is allocated for procuring and maintaining defence assets;

Second: A sum of RM720 million to build 11 headquarters and six police stations as well as purchase of firearm fittings and operations vehicle. Meanwhile, an allocation of RM170 million is provided to upgrade ICT equipment, including 1PDRMnet system as well as RM100 million to upgrade communication systems;

In addition, to safeguard the welfare of police personnel, I would like to announce the construction of 10,000 units of houses under 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing-PDRM (PPA1M-PDRM) at affordable price according to police salary scheme.

Third: A sum of RM490 million is allocated to APMM for repairing and maintaining ships and boats, upgrading jetties as well as procuring three patrol boats;

Fourth: A sum of RM250 million is allocated to Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) to enhance security controls at Sabah and Sarawak borders, including RM50 million for coastal surveillance radar;

Fifth: A sum of RM50 million is allocated to upgrade the capability of firearm assets of special taskforces to combat anti-terrorism activities; and

Sixth: In addition, in appreciation the role of People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) in assisting rakyat, the Government will provide the highest allocation of almost RM250 million for necessary equipment, including uniforms.

134. In safeguarding the welfare of armed forces, the Government will:

First: Prepare the Armed Forces Family Housing (RKAT) blueprint to construct more than 40,000 units in phases by 2030. In 2018, almost 6,000 units will be built; and

Second: A sum of RM40 million is allocated to upgrade five hospitals, build four polyclinics and hospital for ATM veterans.

135. Let us extend our heartiest appreciation to our security forces including police, armed forces and APMM who have sacrificed for the country’s peace and sovereignty.

Bumiputera Wellbeing Transformation Policy

136. As we are aware, the Bumiputera community accounts for almost 70% of the total 32 million population.

137. Therefore, the Government, through the Bumiputera Wellbeing Transformation (TKB) policy will continue to uphold Bumiputera empowerment as a national agenda.

138. Since 2009, various major initiatives to empower Bumiputera economy has and currently being implemented.

139. In this regard, the Carve Out and Compete initiative for Bumiputera has reached a total contract value of more than RM61 billion. In addition, a sum of RM1.7 billion is

approved for 515 projects under the Facilitation Fund which provides more than 44,000 employment opportunities.

140. The programme has proven that the Bumiputera contractors are more resilient and capable to complete projects earlier than schedule without affecting quality.

141. On the other hand, the Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera has successfully trained nearly 17,000 Bumiputera professionals nationwide, in the accounting and engineering fields.

142. In addition, a sum of RM2.4 billion is allocated to UiTM. At the same time, the Government has increased the number of student intakes to UiTM to more than 165,000 with a target to attain 250,000 students by 2020.

143. Notably, UiTM has succeeded in producing over 700,000 Malay and Bumiputera graduates.

144. Furthermore, in 2018, the Government will allocate more than RM3.5 billion for the following initiatives:

First: A sum of RM2.5 billion, the highest allocation ever, is provided for higher education scholarship and training programmes under the Council of Trust for the People (MARA). This will benefit nearly 90,000 students including 1,500 in the critical fields such as AI, signalling and rail;

Second: A total of RM90 million is allocated for programmes namely Peneraju Profesional, Skil and Tunas, benefitting almost 8,000 individuals;

Third: A sum of RM200 million is allocated for the MARA Graduate Employability Training Scheme (GETS);

Fourth: A sum of RM555 million is allocated for Bumiputera entrepreneurship enhancement programme, comprising:

• A sum of RM200 million for Program Keusahawanan dan Premis Perniagaan PUNB;

 A sum of RM200 million is allocated for Program Keusahawanan MARA;

• A sum of RM155 million for programmes such as vendor capacity development, Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (TUBE), Skim Usahawan Permulaan Bumiputera (SUPERB), and Skim Anjakan Usahawan; and

Fifth: To increase equity and investment in strategic sectors, a sum of RM150 million is provided to Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB) and RM150 million to Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (EKUINAS).

Wellbeing of Chinese and Indian Communities

145. As an inclusive Budget, for the Chinese community, the Government will provide a sum of RM50 million as loans for SMEs through Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad (KOJADI).

146. In addition, a sum of RM30 million will be channelled to the 1Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Foundation to provide loans to Chinese hawkers.

147. Furthermore, to develop Chinese New Villages, a total of RM65 million is provided, while another RM10 million for housing refurbishment programme.

148. With regard to the Indian community, the average monthly household income of the Indian community increased significantly to 6.8% per annum. Recently, I have launched the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB).

149. For this, through Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN), the Government allocates RM50 million for Indian Community Entrepreneur Development Scheme (SPUMI), benefitting more than 35,000 entrepreneurs. In addition, a sum of RM50 million is allocated for Indian community socioeconomic development programme.

150. At the same time, through MIB, new intake of Indians to public higher learning institutions and public service will be increased to a targeted 7%.

151. Under the Socioeconomic Development of Indian Community (SEDIC), more than RM230 million has been distributed since 2014, benefitting more than 500,000 Indian participants.

152. The 2018 budget also introduces a new initiative for the Indian community. I am pleased to announce that PNB will make a special distribution amounting to 1.5 billion additional units of Amanah Saham 1Malaysia for the Indian community, up to 30,000 units for each investor.

153. To support this initiative, a fund amounting to RM500 million is allocated for a period of five years. This special investment loan scheme will be offered to 100,000 households from the B40 Indian community, limited to 5,000 units per participant.

154. MIB has proven to the Indian community that in the national development no one is left behind… ‘indeed, the future belongs to us.’

Orang Asli

155. To raise the standard of living and economic development of Orang Asli community, a total of RM50 million is provided, comprising community food assistance programmes, benefitting almost 5,000 Orang Asli students.

156. In addition, as an incentive to successful Orang Asli students, the Government will provide an assistance of RM3,000 for parents to prepare their children’s enrolment in IHLs.

157. Furthermore, Orang Asli Settlement Integrated Development Programme will be continued with an allocation of RM60 million.

Women and Family Wellbeing

158. Women play a very important role in the wellbeing of family and national development. Therefore, in recognising women’s contribution, the Government is pleased to announce 2018 as the Women Empowerment Year.

159. In this respect, several initiatives will be implemented as follows:

First: Require at least 30% participation of women as board of directors in GLCs and GLICs as well as statutory bodies by end-2018;

Second: Propose maternity leave for the private sector to be increased from 60 days to 90 days as implemented by the public sector;

Third: A sum RM20 million is allocated to conduct training and entrepreneurship programmes, which including PEAK Entrepreneur Programme under MyWin Academy; and

Fourth: In order to encourage women to return to the workforce who have been on a career break for at least two years, the Government proposes that their earnings on maximum of 12 months consecutive salary received be given personal income tax exemption. The incentive is available for women who return to the workforce between the year of assessment 2018 to 2020.

FIFTH THRUST: PRIORITISING THE WELLBEING OF RAKYAT AND PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES TO GENERATE INCOME.

160. Prioritising the wellbeing of rakyat and provide opportunities to generate income.

Generating Rakyat’s Income

161. The Government is committed and continues to thrive to provide job opportunities and generate income, through the following measures:

First: A sum of RM100 million to expand eRezeki, eUsahawan and eLadang Programmes under MDEC;

Second: A sum of RM120 million is allocated to provide easy loans to 1,000 1Malaysia Food Truck (FT1M) and 1Malaysia Mobile Food Kiosk entrepreneurs through Bank Rakyat and Bank Simpanan Nasional. The Government will provide a subsidy of 4% on the interest rates;

Third: Providing a total of RM60 million to implement 1AZAM Programme, including RM10 million for Sabah and RM10 million for Sarawak; and

Fourth: Providing a sum of RM25 million for Three-Wheel Motorcycle Programme under FAMA, GiatMara mobilepreneur and MyAGROSIS programmes.

162. In line with IR 4.0, all registered taxi drivers who wish to shift to ehailing application, a grant amounting to RM5,000 will be provided for the purchase of a new car.

Increasing Disposable Income

163. BR1M is a form of targeted subsidy for those in need and has proven to be effective.

164. BR1M is an efficient form of cash transfer to assist the B40 households.

165. In 2017, BR1M has benefitted 7 million recipients with an allocation of RM6.8 billion. Likewise, in 2018, those recipients to continue to benefit from the BR1M cash transfer of up to RM1,200.

166. The Government will continue to increase household disposable income as well as narrow the income gap in the country.

167. I would like to bring another good news to the 2.3 million tax payers, especially those in the M40 group or specifically mid-income range households with income of less than RM9,000.

168. I would like to announce an individual income tax rates reduction of two percentage points for income tax band between RM20,000 to RM70,000, as follows:

First: Income tax band from RM20,001 to RM35,000, the rate is reduced from 5% to 3%;

Second: Income tax band from RM35,001 to RM50,000, the rate is reduced from 10% to 8%; and

Third: Income tax band from RM50,001 to RM70,000, the rate is reduced from 16% to 14%;

This measure will increase the disposable income of the rakyat between RM300 to RM1,000. It is estimated that additional disposable income of RM1.5 billion can be spent by the rakyat. With this measure more that 261,000 individuals are no longer subjected to income tax.

169. The Government allocates a sum of RM3.9 billion for goods and transport subsidies including cooking gas, flour, cooking oil, electricity and toll.

170. As announced earlier, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia will be restructured as KR1M 2.0. As a start, in 2018 50 outlets will transformed to KR1M 2.0 and will be expanded further to 3,000 outlets within three years.

171. KR1M 2.0 will provide five basic necessities at low prices such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, flour and cooking gas. In addition, 50 branded consumer goods will be sold at a lower than the market price.

172. The Government will continue the Standardisation of Prices for Basic Necessities Programme in Sabah and Sarawak with a total allocation of RM80 million.

173. In addition, the Government will develop the Agrobazaar Malaysia with a total allocation of RM20 million to provide market space and agrofood sales centre at a lower price, beginning in Putrajaya.

174. Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry will implement programmes through FAMA and LKIM with an allocation of RM50 million. These programmes enable consumers to purchase food products such as fish, vegetables, chickens and eggs at affordable prices.

175. Effective 1 January 2018, following measures will be implemented:

First: Abolish toll collections at Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau, Selangor;

Second: Abolish toll collections at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah; and

Third: Abolish toll collections at Eastern Dispersal Link, Johor.

1Malaysia Retirement Scheme

176. For those who are self-employed and without fixed income, the Government will increase its contribution to 15% subject to a maximum of RM250 annually under the 1Malaysia Retirement Scheme (SP1M) managed by Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The contribution begins from 2018 to 2022.

Foreign Domestic Helper

177. The Government is aware of the high cost incurred in hiring foreign domestic helpers. Currently, the hiring cost of a foreign domestic helper could reach as high as RM12,000 to RM18,000.

178. To address this issue, the Government will review the cost of hiring foreign domestic helpers, with a view of reducing it in the future.

179. For a start, the Government will allow employers to hire foreign domestic helpers from nine selected countries directly without any agents.

180. Subsequently, employers may apply for foreign domestic helpers’ visa via online from the Immigration Department of Malaysia with the current levy and processing fees.

Housing

181. The Government will continue to intensify efforts to increase home-ownership for the rakyat with an allocation of RM2.2 billion as follows:

First: 17,300 units of People’s Housing Programme;

Second: 3,000 units of People’s Friendly Home under SPNB;

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Third: 210,000 units of houses under PR1MA with prices RM250,000 and below. For this, RM1.5 billion is allocation for the period of two years;

Fourth: 25,000 units of 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPA1M) will be completed in 2018 while another 128,000 units are at various stages of construction;

Fifth: 600 units of MyBeautiful New Homes (MyBNHomes) scheme for B40 households in Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak as well as Orang Asli settlements;

Sixth: 2,000 units under MyDeposit programme to assist down payments as well as MyHomes programme to enable developers to provide more affordable homes; and

Seventh: A sum of RM200 million is allocated for maintenance and refurbishment of houses, including the 1Malaysia Maintenance Fund.

182. To encourage the construction of more affordable homes, the step-up financing scheme introduced by PR1MA will be extended to private housing developers subject to certain criteria.

183. With regard to abandoned housing projects, stamp duty exemption for loan agreements and letter of consent to transfer, are given to rescuing contractors and original owners of abandoned projects, effective 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020.

184. To promote rental of residential homes, for the first time in 60 years, the Government proposes a 50% tax exemption on rental income received by resident individuals not exceeding RM2,000 per month for resident individuals.

185. This exemption is effective from the year of assessment of 2018 to 2020. The Government will also formulate the Residential Rental Act to protect the landlord and tenant.

Health

186. To provide quality healthcare services, the Government allocates about RM27 billion, encompassing:

First: A sum of RM2.5 billion is allocated for medical supplies, while RM1.6 billion for consumable and medical support items;

Second: A sum of RM1.4 billion is allocated for upgrading and maintaining healthcare facilities, medical equipment and ambulances. This includes, the construction of operation hall using a modular approach in three hospitals in Muar, Banting and Balik Pulau;

Third: Upgrade cardiology and cardiothoracic services at Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital in Kuala Terengganu and Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar;

Fourth: A sum of RM100 million is allocated to upgrade hospitals and clinics, including wiring systems;

Fifth: A total of RM50 million is allocated for haemodialysis assistance with a subsidy of RM100 from the overall treatment cost of RM110 per session.

An additional of RM40 million is allocated for the Medical Aid Fund. Both incentives are for the underprivileged;

Sixth: A sum of RM10 million is allocated for the treatment of increasing cases of rare diseases and RM30 million is provided for Healthy Community Empowers the Nation programme to create awareness about non-communicable diseases in 10,000 locations nationwide; and

Seventh: A sum of RM50 million is allocated for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme to enhance the health sector.

187. Furthermore, the Government will build new hospitals and wards, including:

First: Two blocks of women and children wards at Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital and Putrajaya Hospital with a capacity of 300 beds each, with a cost of RM1 billion;

Second: Cancer centre at Sungai Petani at a cost of RM500 million with a capacity of 200 beds;

Third: A block dedicated for a specialist clinic as well as a new ward at Pulau Pinang Hospital with a capacity of 300 beds with a cost of RM500 million; and

Fourth: Construction of international forensic medical service centre at Kuala Lumpur Hospital with a cost of RM380 million.

Goods and Services Tax

188. The Government will further improve the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), through the following measures:

First: Services provided by local authorities will not be subjected to GST, effective 1 April 2018 or October 2018, according to the choice of local authorities;

Second: Reading materials comprising all types of magazines and comics will be zero-rated, effective 1 January 2018, to streamline the GST treatment;

Third: Cruise operators are given relief from paying GST on handling services provided by port operators in Malaysia. This relief will be effective from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020; and

Fourth: Construction of school buildings and houses of worship, funded through donations are given GST relief. It applies for construction contracts signed on or after 1 April 2017.

189. The GST should not be politicised. In fact, the GST saved the economy this year, where without the RM41 billion collected we cannot imagine how the nation can cater for the needs of rakyat.

190. Until today, the opposition seem to be divided with regard to their views on GST system with some accepting GST based on zero-rate and the latest there are some who want to return back to the sales and services tax (SST).

191. Futhermore,…

Fifth: Imports of oil and gas-related equipment under a lease agreement, supplied to customers in Malaysia by companies in Designated Areas, namely, Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman are given GST relief effective from 1 January 2018;

Sixth: Imports of big ticket items such as aircraft and ships by airline and shipping companies registered in Malaysia are given GST relief.

GST relief are also given to companies in the oil and gas industry, importing oil rigs or floating structures, effective from 1 January 2018; and

Seventh: The management and maintenance services of stratified residential buildings supplied by the Joint Management Body (JMB) and management corporations are not subjected to GST. This treatment is expanded to cover the management and maintenance services provided by housing developers, effective from 1 January 2018.

SIXTH THRUST: FORTIFYING THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND DIGITAL ECONOMY

Industrial Revolution 4.0

192. In line with the emerging IR 4.0 and the era of digital economy, the Government will implement the Malaysia Digital Policy.

193. As such, in order to support the IR 4.0 business and investment activities, the Government will provide a matching grant worth RM245 million under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund to upgrade the Smart Manufacturing facilities.

194. Furthermore, futurise centre in Cyberjaya will be strengthened as a one-stop centre for corporate companies and universities to develop prototype products and elevate innovation.

195. The Government will provide tax incentives as follows:

First: Extend the incentive period for Accelerated Capital Allowance of 200% on automation equipment from year of assessment 2018 to year of assessment 2020;

Second: Extend the incentive period for Accelerated Capital Allowance of 200% for manufacturing and manufacturing-related services sectors; and

Third: Capital Allowance for ICT equipment, which includes spending on computer software development, is claimable for the period of four years beginning year of assessment 2018 to 2020, including for SMEs.

Sustainable Development

196. While we are progressing towards modernisation, we must preserve the sustainability of our environment for future generation.

197. My deepest condolences for the loss of lives in the Tanjung Bungah Pulau Pinang landslide tragedy, which has claimed 11 lives.

198. Our friend, the Honourable DAP Member of Parliament, wrote a poignant piece on his Twitter account.

199. What a touching piece by our Honourable Kepong Member of Parliament himself.

200. To ensure a sustainable development, the following measures will be implemented:

First: Provide a sum of RM5 billion under the Green Technology Financing Scheme to promote investment in green technology industry;

Second: Implement the Non-Revenue Water Programme with a cost of RM1.4 billion to reduce the average loss of water;

Third: Construct the Off-River Storage with a cost of RM1.3 billion as an alternative water resources; and

Fourth: Provide a total of RM517 million for flood mitigation programmes.

Digital Free Trade Zone

201. Malaysia will be the first in the world outside China to establish a Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) which comprises e-Fulfilment Hub, Satellite Services Hub and e-Service Platform to stimulate growth in electronic trade. DFTZ will transform KLIA as the regional gateway.

202. The first phase of DFTZ aims for 1,500 SMEs to participate in digital economy and is expected to attract RM700 million worth of investment and create 2,500 job opportunities. For this, the Government:

First: Provides a sum of RM83.5 million to construct infrastructure for the first phase of DFTZ in Aeropolis, KLIA; and

Second: Increases the de minimis or minimum value for imports from RM500 to RM800 to establish Malaysia as the regional e-commerce hub.

Regulatory Sandbox

203. The Government will create a conducive ecosystem to gain benefits from innovation, particularly ideas from local start-ups.

204. The Government will expand regulatory sandbox approach to facilitate companies to test their new innovative ideas and business model which will be implemented by all related regulators.

SEVENTH THRUST: ENHANCING EFFICIENCY AND DELIVERY OF GOVERNMENT-LINKED COMPANIES AND PUBLIC SERVICE

205. Enhance efficiency and delivery of Government-linked Companies (GLCs) and public service.

Employees in Government-Linked Companies

206. In line with the development philosophy of growth with equity, it is Malaysia’s desire to achieve strong economic growth and wealth be equally distributed among the rakyat.

207. In this regard, the GLCs will lead and be an example to the corporate sector. As such, every GLCs will be given Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase employees compensation in line with productivity growth. This includes:

First: GLCs will increase their profit sharing with their employees through gradual payment of salaries and allowances;

Second: Introducing flexible benefits to increase disposable income by substituting annual and medical leaves for cash;

Third: Improving further flexible working arrangements to promote work-life balance through compressed work week, flexible and part-time working hours;

Fourth: Introduce leaves for umrah;

Fifth: Provide childcare centre in GLC’s main offices as well as introduce shorter working hours for pregnant working women; and

Sixth: Increase investment in training, particularly conduct courses on digital skills to workers as well as provide children’s education assistance.

Prioritise the Welfare of Senior Citizens, People with Disabilities and Children

208. The Government will provide an allocation of RM1.7 billion for the welfare of senior citizens, PWDs and children. This includes:

First: Increasing allowance for senior citizens by RM50 to RM350 per month with an allocation of RM603 million. This will benefit almost 144,000 senior citizens; and

Second: Increasing allowance for working and unemployed PWDs as well as care takers of PWDs by RM50 per month with an allocation of RM100 million. This will benefit more than 163,000 individuals.

209. Furthermore, to protect children, particularly from sexual crimes, the Government has successfully set up the Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes against Children, the first in Southeast Asia. An additional three courts will be established in 2018.

Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA)

210. From 1 January 2018, the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA) will implement measures to enable public servants to own their dream homes. Among the measures include:

First: Allow financing by LPPSA to construct property on waqf land;

Second: Include legal fee-related to sales and purchase agreement as part of financing by LPPSA;

Third: Allow LPPSA joint-loan for husband and wife or children with a condition that all applicants must be public servants; and

Fourth: Allow joint-home financing between husband and wife or children, with a condition at least one of the applicants is a public servant.

The non-public servant needs to secure loans from financial institutions or agencies that provide financing facilities which agrees to be the second mortgage holder.

EIGHTH THRUST: BALANCING BETWEEN THE PAR EXCELLENCE OF WORLDLY AND HEREAFTER

211. The future is uncertain.

212. Nevertheless, Allah SWT favours those who continuously work hard, plan their future for the benefit of country and society as a whole.

213. Based on Surah Al-A’raf verse 96, Allah SWT bestows His blessings and grace upon those who believe and fear Allah.

214. Therefore, the Government is targeting Malaysia:

First: To become a High-Income Advanced Economy in 2020;

Second: To record RM2 trillion of economy and trade value by 2025;

Third: To gain and benefit from IR 4.0 by 2030;

Fourth: To have a more competitive workforce with nearly zero defects by 2040; and

Fifth: To be ranked among the top 20 advanced countries in the world.

Socio-economic Research Unit

215. The fact remains families are the most important institution in developing values and humanity as social unity starts with harmonious and happy family.

216. For this, the Government will establish Socio-economic Research Institute (SERI) under Prime Minister’s Department and enhance the UKM Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA-UKM) as a national institution. An appropriate allocation will be provided by the Government.

217. SERI will review and evaluate the effectiveness of policies, and implementation of programmes and development projects. Meanwhile, KITA will coordinate studies on national socioeconomics education and establish the national social development index.

218. As an analogy, while the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) plays an important role in formulating economic policies and the Implementation and Coordination Unit (ICU) as the implementation arm of programmes and projects, the SERI and KITA will be the main agency which covers the aspects of spiritual, ethical and universal pure values.

219. The Government always appreciate the role of NGOs and will continue to cooperate with them in addressing social challenges. Emphasis will be given to family institutions, which is the smallest yet most important nucleus in the development and wellbeing of our society.

Public Servants

220. As I mentioned in the 15th Majlis Amanat Perdana Perkhidmatan Awam (MAPPA) early this month, I have a few announcements for the 1.6 million public servants.

221. As a token of appreciation for the commendable services by the public servants, I am pleased to announce:

First: Introduce second time-based promotion to supporting staff after 13 years from the first promotion;

Second: Provide benefit to public servants who retire on medical reasons similar to those who retires at compulsory age;

Third: Allow Cash Award in lieu of Accumulated Leave (GCR) of more than 150 days to be taken during the retirement year;

Fourth: Increase special leaves for education officers from 7 to 10 days a year;

Fifth: Provide unrecorded leaves to public servants up to 7 days throughout their service for the purpose of umrah;

Sixth: Introduce new working hour from 9.00am to 6.00pm to provide further flexibility to public servants;

Seventh: Provide Flexible Working Hour one day a week for Grade UD54 and above Medical Specialists who have served a minimum of four years and meet certain requirements;

Eighth: Allow working women in their five month onwards of pregnancy to leave work an hour earlier. To accompany them, husbands are also allowed to go home an hour earlier with a allowed to leave work an hour earlier with a condition that the couple are working within the same location;

Ninth: Increase total maternity leave from 300 to 360 days throughout service subject to a maximum of 90 days a year;

Tenth: Encourage life-long learning among public servants through in-house Masters and PhD programmes;

Eleventh: Set minimum pension of RM1,000 per month, benefitting more than 50,000 retirees with at least 25 years of service; and

Twelfth: Extend the medical facilities to parents of retirees.

All the above measures will take effect from 1 January 2018.

Neighbourhood and Community

222. To appreciate the contribution of village heads and tok batins, the Government will provide a one-off special payment of RM1,500, benefitting 9,800 people. Of which, RM1,000 will be paid in January 2018, while the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

223. To create safe and peaceful environment in the neighbourhood areas, the Government will continue to provide 1Malaysia People Community Grant up to RM10,000 to registered resident associations to purchase security equipment, clean and maintain neighbourhood areas with a total allocation of RM40 million.

224. In addition, RM40 million is allocated to GiatMara to implement the first phase of community training programmes, involving 50 PPR.

Uphold the Greatness and Integrity of Islam

225. My deepest condolences for the loss of 23 lives in the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre tragedy.

226. In this regard, the Government will allocate a total of RM50 million to GiatMara for upgrading and maintaining wiring system in all registered Tahfiz schools nationwide.

227. Furthermore, GiatMara skills training scheme will be introduced to tahfiz school students.

228. Likewise, a total of RM588 million is allocated as monthly allowance for imam, bilal, KAFA and takmir teachers. As a token of appreciation including tok siak, the Government would like to announce…

A one-off payment amounting to RM1,500, will be given to them of which, RM1,000 will be paid in January 2018, while the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. This will benefit more than 65,000 individuals with an allocation of almost RM100 million.

CLOSING

229. May Allah SWT bless this 2018 Budget presentation.

230. …What is the point of being wealthy but weak in soul.

231. The Government aspires, not only as a nation with physical strengths but rich in soul and character i.e. par excellence in worldly and hereafter.

232. After months of hard work, involving ministries, agencies, private sector, NGOs, youth and professionals, and most importantly, all segments of the society have contributed through various platforms and channels in crafting this important document.

233. Thus, this Budget is the most inclusive that has ever been tabled.

234. This Budget encapsulates all the three important aspects Dho’ruriyat, Haajiyat and Tahsiniyat in safeguarding rakyat’s welfare and to prosper the nation.

235. This Budget that has never been crafted so well, even during the last 22 years or the past 60 years of our own nation, and marked in history, making this Budget the Mother of All Budgets.

236. Indeed, this Budget is the collection of various premises which form the basis of a comprehensive Budget, taking into account the needs of all levels of society.

237. With this, the Budget dispels all doubts as propagated by the Opposition.

238. In fact, the Opposition is surrounded by misconceptions and is the real actor. There is no certainty in political leadership, how can they be trusted to provide a sound economic leadership.

All these while, they have been making senseless propositions including abolishing GST and reducing taxes. All these are baseless claims.

239. All praises be to Allah, for His blessings on Government’s efforts.

240. This is the right time to acknowledge public servants who have been loyal and provide efficient and effective public service delivery to the rakyat, hence, I am pleased to announce that…

A special payment of RM1,500 be given to all public servants.

The payment will be made twice, of which RM1,000 will be paid in early January 2018 while the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Meanwhile, the Government will provide a special payment of RM750 to Government retirees, of which RM500 to be paid in January 2018 while the balance during Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

241. I trust the rakyat is wise enough to differentiate between truths and lies.

242. More importantly, when the rakyat choose wisely it paves the path for Malaysia to flourish extensively.

243. When the rakyat and the Government are united, then the country emerges as a great nation.

244. We have to plan strategically in charting the course of the nation.

245. This can only be achieved through great teamwork and friendship. I am grateful for being blessed with a loyal friend… Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

246. This include all the support from Members of the Cabinet, Leaders of Component Parties in steering the nation.

247. Come what may, we remain steadfast with our commitment.

248. Let’s together ensure a big victory for Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election.

249. O Allah, to You, we pray and submit. God bless Malaysia.

Mr. Speaker Sir,

I beg to propose.