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The Malaysia Budget 2018 was presented by YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Minister of Finance last Friday, on 27 October 2017 at the Dewan Rakyat, Parliament of Malaysia.
In his opening speech, PM Najib welcomed with: “On this wonderful Friday afternoon on 27 October 2017, there is no better time to share the good news and bring smiles to all.”
In fact, PM Najib shared that the target of 3.3 million new job opportunities by 2020 so far has already reached 69% with 2.26 million jobs created.
Some key developments in HR include:
- Enhancing civil servants benefits
- Preparations for IR 4.0
- Support for women at work
- Driving TVET employees
- Propelling graduate hires
- Promoting diversity at the workplace
- Support for businesses
- Closing income gap
- Changes in income tax for workers
Civil servants getting a boost of benefits
- Increase time-based rank of second-generation for group of executives for a period of 13 years, after first-time increase.
- Civil servants to be paid for the health benefits, as well as retirement benefits until the retirement age that’s compulsory.
- Allowing leisure leave of more than 150 days to be used as a holiday break in the retirement age.
- Increase the Special Rehabilitation Breakout rate from Education Service Officers from 7 days to 10 days a year.
- For the first time, the government agrees to provide 7 days leave without a record of the duration of the service on the umrah.
- To provide flexibility, the government will add another grade of worktime from 9am to 6pm.
- Female public servants who are pregnant (5 months above) is allowed to leave earlier of an hour. In fact, her husband if working in the public sector will also be allowed to leave an hour early.
- Increase the maternity leave entitlement from 300 days to 360 days throughout the service, subject to a maximum of 90 days a year.
- Lifelong learning of public service officers by implementing Master’s and PhD courses in-house.
- Raising the lowest pension rate to RM1000 per month, involving more than 50k public retiree with at least 25 years of service period.
- Extension of medical facilities for parents to government retirees.
- Doctors of Grade UD54 and above will be given a leeway of one day a week to implement flexible working hours.
- General payment of RM1500 to all civil servants, with government retirees given special fees of RM750.
Preparations for IR.4
- The government to provide a matching grant of RM245m under the Domestic Investment Strategic Funds to upgrade Smart Manufacturing facilities.
- RM83.5 million is allocated to finance the provision of phase one DFTZ infrastructure at Aeropolis, KLIA.
Support for women in the workplace
- In recognition of the contribution of women, the government announces 2018 as the Year of Empowerment of Women.
- Mandatory for 30% of women to be in GLC’s board of directors, GLIC & statutory bodies before the end of 2018.
- The mandatory period of maternity leave proposal for the private sector was increased from 60 days to 90 days as public service.
- RM20 million for women’s training and entrepreneurship programs including PEAK Entreprenuer Program under MyWin Academy.
- An individual income tax exemption proposal for women returning to work after a period of at least 2 years (of not working).
- GLCs will provide nurseries in key offices, and reduced working hours for pregnant women workers.
- Raising disabled worker’s allowance, unemployed and OKU-caretaker by RM50 per month, benefitting 163 thousand people with an allocation of RM100m.
Driving TVET employees
- To support the development of skilled workers in the rail sector, the government will set up a national rail center of excellence.
- To encourage TVET graduates to pursue studies, the government will provide 100 TVET
- Distinguished Student Scholarships with an allocation of RM4.5m.
- To propel graduate hires further
- National scheme to help unemployed graduates, Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M), has trained over 138k graduates, and will continue to increase by 5k graduates to 25k apprentices next year.
- RM2.5b, the highest ever awarded for higher education and training scholarships under MARA, utilising almost 90,000 students.
Efforts to boost diversity at work
- Starting from 2018, Bank Negara will monitor payroll for all foreign workers, except domestic workers, made through a bank account.
- Additional tax deductions for employer hiring OKU staff or workers in critical illness / illness.
- It shall be obliged for all new offices to be equipped with childcare facilities beginning with Kuala Lumpur.
- For employees planning to grow their family, good news for you as each Malaysia child, born on 1 2018 to 2022, will be awarded the Initial Savings Fund for RM200 through the Amanah Saham unit – a first for the nation, it would be called Trust Fund of Malaysia 2050, or ADAM50.
- As regards the presentation of the welfare of all parties including senior citizens, OKU and children, the government announces RM1.7b assistance.
Enhancing the ease of commute
- For commuters, government will accelerate the construction of the MRT3 or Circle Line, expected to be completed by 2025, ahead of 2027.
- The high-speed train connecting KL and Singapore will be completed by 2026.
- RM45 million is spent on creating a biometric control system for monitoring express bus services.
- Build new Mukah airport and expand Kota Bharu and Sandakan airports.
- RM934 million for rural road projects, including almost RM500 million for Sabah and Sarawak.
Boosting the tourism sector.
- Expanding the eVisa regional hub to ease the application worldwide, especially for expatriates, foreign students and Malaysia My Second Home.
Support for businesses
- Private investment is expected to reach RM260b in 2018, in line with the goal of making the private sector as the engine of growth.
- RM7b under the Business Financing Guarantee Scheme – RM5b for working capital & RM2b loan with 70% Guaranteed guarantee for the services sector.
- To automate the process of withdrawing and reducing foreign workers’ employment, RM1b with a 70% loan government guarantee under SJPP
- RM100m is provided as a loan with 70% government guarantees to automate the production of local furniture for export purposes.
- RM2.3b for aid and incentives such as fertiliser and production inputs to farmers, smallholders rubber and fishermen.
- RM200 monthly allowance for 3 months, while waiting for rice to harvest with an allocation of almost RM150m to paddy fields workers.
Closing the income gap
- Per capita income per capita from RM27,819 in 2010, now RM40,713 & is expected to reach RM42,777 by 2018.
- Monthly median earnings have increased from RM4,585 in 2014 to RM5,288 in 2016.
- For the household income of B40, from 2014 to 2016, has increased from RM2,629 to RM3,000 per month.
- Budget2018 will allocate RM280.25b, witnessing an increase in allocation, compared to Budget 2017 allocation of RM260.8b.
- For the year 2018, Malaysia expects the Federal Government revenue collection to reach RM239.86b.
Changes in income tax rate
- Resident individual income tax rate reduced by 2 percentage points to a taxable charge of between RM20 thousand – RM70 thousand.
- This results in more than 261,000 people no longer having to pay income tax.