The Malaysian finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz unveiled a RM372.3 billion budget for the year 2023. The minister said that the focus for this budget will be on three Rs – Responsive, Responsible, and Reformist.
A key area that this budget focuses on is the upliftment of all segments of society, especially persons with disabilities, the B40 group and the M40 group.
This budget also allocated RM150 million towards employment incentives under PERKESO (Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial, sometimes also referred to as SOCSO or Social Security Organisation). Another announcement was regarding skills training for more than 800,000 workers, provided by HRD Corp, for approximately RM750 million.
People across the industry have hailed the 2023 budget for prioritizing upskilling, reskilling, employment, as well as hiring incentives for people from all backgrounds.
‘Will stimulate economy’
“The two-point reduction in the taxable income range of more than RM50,000 to RM100,000 will provide some relief to nearly one million taxpayers in the M40 income bracket. They can use the savings to invest in funds or gain additional income to cover their daily expenses. Furthermore, because they will have more money to spend, this move will stimulate economic activity,” said Benjamin Croc, co-founder and CEO of HR tech company BrioHR.
"Companies and the HR industry will have a lot of policies to review, such as the readjustments of the KWSP, tax reductions, and the creation of more job opportunities to help lower the unemployment rate in Malaysia. We hope that the 2023 Budget will contribute to strengthen Keluarga Malaysia's bond, assisting all those in need, and contributing to the country's well-being and development,” said Benjamin.
‘Support gender equality’
Prakash S, senior consultant at LNP Management, feels the 2023 budget increases women empowerment while realising the goal of diversity and inclusion. The budget will also help in creating skilled workers in the workforce, helping with the dipping of the unemployment rate.
“Income tax exemptions for women returning to the workforce serve as a positive sign in bringing great talents back to the workforce and supporting gender equality,” Prakash S, senior consultant, LNP Management, said.
The budget announced that the Securities Commission is set to introduce a special training programme the aim of which will be to improve women's skills and also increase the number of women who are eligible to be appointed as board members.
“The extension of Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA) and Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE) augment the employability and open doors for talents within this area of expertise,” he further said, adding that incentives to hire youths and graduates between 18 – 30 years aims at increasing skilled workers nationwide and additional incentives for companies hiring
Persons with Disabilities (OKU), former inmates and Orang Asli communities show “ways to achieve diversity and inclusion at the workplace”.