Budget 2018 Highlights That Matter

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak tabled the most expensive budget in history – RM280.25bil, an increase of 6.6% from last year’s RM260.8bil.

This is the first expansionary budget in three years; budgets 2016 and 2017 shrank by 4% and 1.6% respectively.


  • Growth of 5.7% first half 2017
  • Projected GDP increased from 4.9% to 5.2% for 2017
  • Projected growth of 5.2%-5.7% for 2017 full year, higher than 4.3%-4.8% projection in March
  • Actual private investment over RM211bil in 2016, up from RM81bil in 2009
  • Estimated fiscal deficit of 3% for 2017, down from 6.7% of GDP in 2009
  • Fiscal deficit target of 2.8% for 2018
  • Already created 69% or 2.26mil new jobs of 3.3mil target by 2020
  • August 2017 exports hit a high of RM80bil, recording double-digit growth
  • International reserves currently at US$101.4bil, up from US$21.7bil in 1997
  • Per capita income of RM40,713 in 2017, up from RM27,819 in 2010
  • Expected per capita income of RM42,777 by 2018
  • Monthly median income of RM5,288 in 2016, up from RM4,585 in 2014
  • B4 household income of RM3,000 per month, up from RM2,629 for 2014-2016 period


  • Total budget allocation of RM280.25bil (excluding RM2bil contingency fund), up almost RM20bil from last year’s RM260.8bil
  • Operating expenditure of RM234.3bil, up 9%
  • Development expenditure of RM46bil, same as last year
  • Estimated revenue collection of RM239.86bil, up 9.2%
  • Expected total investment increase of 6.7%, accounting for 25.5% of GDP
  • Expected private sector investment of RM260bil – engine of growth


Special Payouts

  • RM1,500 to each village head, Muslim religious worker, civil servant, with RM1,000 to be paid out in January 2018 and the balance before Hari Raya
  • RM750 to each pensioner, with RM500 to be paid out in January 2018 and the balance before Hari Raya


RM6.8bil for BR1M, maintained at RM1,200 a year

Individual Income Tax

Reduced from:

  • 5% to 3% for RM20,001-RM35,000 income tax band
  • 10% to 8% for RM35,001 to RM50,000
  • 16% to 14% for RM50,001 to RM70,000


Exemptions from GST:

  • Services provided by local authorities
  • Reading materials comprising magazines and comics

  • Management and maintenance services of stratified residential buildings


  • Households can hire foreign domestic helpers directly without agent
  • Employers may apply for foreign domestic helpers’ visa online from Immigration Dept at existing levy and processing fees


  • 2018 as Women Empowerment Year
  • At least 30% participation of women as directors in GLCs, GLICs and statutory bodies by end 2018

  • Mandatory maternity leave for private sector increased from 60 days to 90 days
  • 12-month income tax exemption for women returning to the workforce after a minimum two-year career break – applicable for women who return to work from 2018 to 2020
  • RM20mil for PEAK Entrepreneur Programme under MyWin Academy


  • Local authorities to ensure childcare facilities provided in all new office buildings, starting with Kuala Lumpur

  • Children born between Jan 1, 2018 and 2022 will get RM200 worth of Amanah Saham units under Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050
  • Three more courts to hear cases of sexual crimes against children

Senior Citizens

Allowance for senior citizens increased by RM50 to RM350 a month

Persons with Disabilities

Allowance for unemployed persons with disabilities (PWDs) as well as caretakers of PWDs increased by RM50 per month

Civil Servants

  • Second round time-based promotions
  • Senior servants who retire due to health reasons accorded the same benefits as those who undergo mandatory retirement
  • Cash in lieu of accumulated leave over 150 days to be taken during retirement
  • Special leave for teachers increased from seven to 10 days a year
  • Unrecorded leave of up to seven days for Umrah
  • New working hours from 9am to 6pm
  • Flexible working hours of one day a week for Medical Specialists (Grade UD54 and above)
  • Women at least five months’ pregnant allowed to leave work an hour earlier, with husbands accorded the same privilege if their work locations are in the same vicinity
  • Total maternity leave increased from 300 to 360 days (90 days per birth)
  • Minimum pension of RM1,000 per month, beginning Jan 1, 2018
  • Medical facilities extended to parents of retirees

Felda Settlers

  • RM43mil to reimburse settlers cess money they paid for replanting scheme from rubber to oil palm
  • RM60mil for oil palm replanting programme

  • RM164mil to build 5,000 Second Generation Felda homes
  • RM200mil for Felda to supply water and upgrade roads as well as street lights

Bumiputra Community

  • RM2.4bil to UiTM

  • RM2.5bil to Mara for scholarships and training programmes
  • RM90mil for Peneraju Profesional, Skil and Tunas programmes
  • RM200mil for Mara Graduate Employability Training Scheme
  • RM555mil for Bumiputra entrepreneurship enhancement programmes

Chinese Community

  • RM50mil SME loans through Kojadi
  • RM30mil to 1Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Foundation for loans to Chinese hawkers
  • RM65mil to develop Chinese new villages and RM10mil for housing refurbishment programme

Indian Community

  • RM50mil for Indian Community Entrepreneur Development Scheme under Tekun
  • RM50mil for Indian community socio-economic development programmes
  • RM1.5bil special distribution of Amanah Saham 1Malaysia from PNB for the Indian community, subject to a maximum of 30,000 units per investor
  • New intake of Indians to public higher learning institutions and public service increased to 7%

Orang Asli Community

  • RM50mil for Community Food Assistance Programme to 5,000 orang asli students

  • RM3,000 education assistance to parents to prepare for their children’s enrolment in institutes of higher learning
  • RM60mil for the continuation of the Orang Asli Settlement Integrated Development Programme


More than RM36bil, including:

  • RM110mil alternative road to Port Klang
  • RM32bil MRT2 Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya project
  • RM5bil West Coast Highway from Banting to Taiping
  • RM230mil for Central Spine Road to continue construction work of roads from Raub to Bentong and from Gua Musang to Kampung Relong
  • RM3bil Transportation Development Fund to procure vessels and develop transportation industry
  • RM1bil Public Transportation Fund as working capital and for purchasing assets such as buses and taxis
  • RM95mil to upgrade and construct jetties as well as dredge river estuaries
  • RM45mil to develop a biometric control system to monitor bus drivers
  • RM55mil to subsidise train services in rural areas, from Tumpat to Gua Musang
  • Pangkor Island to be duty-free island (except for alcohol, cigarettes and motor vehicles)
  • Upgrading Penang and Langkawi airports, expanding Kota Bharu and Sandakan airports, constructing new airport in Mukah
  • Feasibility studies being undertaken for new airport on Pulau Tioman and construction of a bridge connecting Labuan with mainland Sabah
  • Toll collections abolished at booths in Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau in Selangor, Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah and Eastern Dispersal Link in Johor effective Jan 1, 2018


RM27bil to public healthcare, including:

  • RM4.1mil for medical supplies, consumables and support
  • RM1.4bil upgrade at Muar, Banting and Balik Pulau hospitals

  • Cardiology and cardiothoracic services at Kuala Terengganu and Alor Setar hospitals
  • RM100mil to upgrade hospitals and clinics
  • RM1bil for two new blocks of women and children’s wards at Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital and Putrajaya Hospital
  • RM500mil cancer centre at Sungai Petani
  • RM500mil specialist clinic and new ward at Pulau Pinang Hospital
  • RM380mil international forensic medical service centre at Kuala Lumpur Hospital
  • RM50mil for Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme

Rural Development

RM6.5bil, including:

  • RM2bil Pan Borneo Highway.
  • RM1.1bil for building and upgrading bridges, village street lights and markets
  • RM1bil to develop communication infrastructures and broadband facilities in Sabah and Sarawak
  • RM934mil for construction of rural roads, with almost RM500mil for Sabah and Sarawak
  • RM672mil for electricity supply in rural areas
  • RM420mil for clean water supply in rural areas, including RM300il for Sabah and Sarawak

  • RM50mil for surveying and mapping customary lands


  • RM2.2bil for scholarships under Public Service Department (JPA), Higher Education Ministry and Health Ministry
  • RM90mil to MyBrain Programme for 10,600 individuals to further post-graduate studies
  • RM250 book vouchers for Form 6 and tertiary students
  • RM100 per student under schooling assistance programme
  • Discounts for repayment of PTPTN loans until Dec 31, 2018
  • RM4.9bil for TVET Malaysia Masterplan


  • RM2.2bil, including for affordable housing:

– 17,300 units under People’s Housing Programme

– 3,000 units under People’s Friendly Home

– 210,000 units under PR1MA

– 25,000 units under 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme

– 600 units under MyBeautiful New Home scheme

– 2,000 units under MyDeposit programme

  • RM200mil to 1Malaysia Maintenance Fund
  • 50% tax exemption on rental income of up to RM2,000 per month, from 2018 to 2020

Security Forces


RM14bil for the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and RM900mil for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM), including:

  • RM3bil for procuring and maintaining defence assets
  • RM490mil for APMM to repair and maintain ships and boats, upgrade jetties and purchase three patrol boats
  • RM250mil to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) to enhance security controls at the Sabah and Sarawak borders
  • RM50mil to upgrade capability of firearm assets of special task forces
  • RM250mil to RELA for equipment and uniforms.
  • RM40mil to upgrade five Armed Forces hospitals, build four polyclinics and a Veterans’ Hospital.
  • Construction of 6,000 houses in 2018 for army families


RM9bil for the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), including:

  • RM720mil to build 11 headquarters and six police stations, as well as to buy new firearms and operations vehicles
  • RM170mil to upgrade ICT equipment, including the 1PDRMnet system
  • RM100mil to upgrade communication systems
  • Construction of 10,000 houses under the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing for police personnel
Miera Zulyana


  • RM112mil for 14 new sports complexes
  • RM1bil for FitMalaysia, National Sports Day, training for athletes through Youth and Sports Ministry

  • RM20mil Bukit Jalil Sports School upgrade


RM30mil to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council to boost medical tourism

Sustainable Development

RM517mil for flood mitigation programmes


RM6.5bil for various programmes to assist farmers, fishermen, smallholders and rubber tappers, including a monthly assistance of RM200 for three months to paddy farmers while waiting for the harvest season

Income Generators

  • RM100mil to expand eRezeki, eUsahawan and eLadang Programmes under MDEC
  • RM120mil to provide easy loans to 1,000 1Malaysia Food Truck and 1Malaysia Mobile Food Kiosk entrepreneurs through Bank Rakyat and Bank Simpanan Nasional

  • RM60mil to implement 1AZAM Programme, including RM10mil for Sabah and RM10mil for Sarawak
  • RM25mil for Three-Wheel Motorcycle Programme, GiatMara mobilepreneur and MyAGROSIS programmes
  • RM5,000 grant for registered taxi drivers to buy a new vehicle for e-hailing application