Anwar unveils biggest-ever RM393.8 billion budget.
This was the unity government’s second budget – the first being Budget 2023 retabled by Anwar, who is also finance minister, in February – which was not based on the Madani concept.
The unveiling of the much-anticipated Budget 2024 began at 4pm.
The budget contained integrated policies such as the National Energy Transition Roadmap, the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, and the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan in line with the Madani Economy framework.
Anwar said Malaysia’s economy is expected to grow 4.0% to 5.0% next year, led by the services sector.
Budget 2024 was tabled before Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul and would be debated for eight days from Monday, followed by replies by ministers from October 30.
Salient points of Budget 2024:
Subsidies reduction in phases
Subsidies will cost RM81 billion this year, higher than the RM64 billion budgeted earlier, which Anwar argues mostly benefited the rich and 3.5 million foreigners.
Therefore, the government will rationalise subsidies in phases. Any savings will be channelled to “Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah scheme”, which is expected to increase to RM10 billion.
Service tax up to 8%
Anwar says difficult “tax reforms” – one that does not burden the public while increasing government revenue – are necessary to ensure quality of services and aid to the public.
Firstly, the government wants to increase service tax from 6% to 8%.
This will not involve the food and beverage industry and telecommunications. Affected industries include logistics, brokerage, underwriting and karaoke.
The government will impose a luxury tax that will be at a rate of between 5% and 10% on specific high-value items such as jewellery and watches.
RM150m to repair, maintain public toilets
The government plans to allocate RM150 million for the maintenance of public toilets nationwide.
Anwar said the plan is a continuation of Putrajaya’s determination to improve public amenities in the country, like what it had done this year with school toilets.
“It was unthinkable that all this while we had allowed our children to go to school with poor facilities, especially those with broken and unmaintained toilets.
“InsyaAllah, our projects to repair toilets in 8,354 schools will be completed by this year.
“And for next year, the same determination will be extended towards repairing public toilets nationwide. We want to allocate RM150 million to maintain and repair toilets under 150 local governments across the country,” he added.
Chicken and eggs no longer controlled goods
Anwar said chicken and eggs will no longer be controlled goods, with prices to be determined by market demand
He said the present trend revealed that the supply of eggs and chicken has stabilised and the present retail price is far below the controlled ceiling price.