Creating more jobs and helping small businesses will be among the focus areas of Budget 2020, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Lim said this was necessary as many youths, including graduates, were jobless.
“We need to give priority to creating more jobs due to unemployment among our youths as well as help small businesses in these trying times,” he said.
Lim further revealed that the government would not be proposing an increase in taxes, including inheritance tax. Though increasing taxes, including corporate tax, might be the global trend, the Malaysian government would not propose it for the time being. However, if the economy improves, then it might consider this initiative.
Lim added that the government will do all it can to strengthen the economy as it grapples with the RM150 Bn in losses caused by several scandals, among them 1MDB, Tabung Haji and Felda.
In addition, he said the government is prepared to consider a request from the Negri Sembilan government to set up a free trade zone in the sprawling Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV 2.0) new growth area twice the size of Singapore. The project to span 30 years is expected to attract about RM294 Bnl in investments until 2045 and is expected to create some 600,000 jobs.
Lim is scheduled to table the Budget 2020 in Parliament on Oct 11. As per Malaysian Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin, the number of jobs in the private sector increased by 145,000 in the second quarter this year to 8.6 million posts compared with 8.5 million in the corresponding period last year. After the significant increase in the first quarter, the second quarter was also expected to exhibit positive growth, which it has, showing that the country’s economy will continue to grow. Malaysian economy continues to expand at a steady and promising pace, and the country’s main economic sectors are expected to record positive growth, with the service and manufacturing sectors projected to grow by 5.7% and 4.8% respectively. In terms of job vacancies, 55.6 percent were reported in the manufacturing sector in Q2, followed by the service sector at 20.1 percent. The increased focus of the government on job creation augurs well for the economy which is set to continue its upward growth spurt.