Here Are 11 Highlights From #Budget2024

With a value of RM393.8 billion, the total allocation for this year's federal budget is the highest in history.

Cover image via Parlimen Malaysia (YouTube) & New Straits Times

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1. The government will increase service tax from 6% to 8%

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Finance Minister, said affected industries include logistics, brokerage, underwriting, and karaoke.

The service tax will not involve the food and beverage (F&B) industry and telecommunications.

2. A 5% to 10% tax is going to be introduced on luxury goods

Anwar said the new tax will be imposed on certain high-value items, such as jewellery and watches.

"However, the new tax will not be imposed on tourists, and new rules will be introduced so tourists can get refunds on those paid taxes," he added.

3. RM2.4 billion will be allocated to improve civil servants' quarters

The Finance Minister said the money will be used to build, maintain, and repair quarters for civil servants, teachers, hospital staff, policemen, soldiers, and firefighters.

4. RM150 million has been set aside to maintain and repair public toilets nationwide

Anwar said the government will also be carrying out a targeted effort to maintain and repair toilets in 8,354 schools by the end of the year.

5. A reduction of the current 25% entertainment tax for performances held in Kuala Lumpur

Anwar proposed that local artistes be exempt from paying entertainment tax for their live shows.

As for international artistes, as well as performances like musicals, film screenings, and sporting events, they will only be charged a 10% entertainment tax.

6. RM20 million proposed to repair damaged drainage systems nationwide to prevent floods

Anwar said efforts will be focused on monitoring, preventing, and reporting danger at 2,000 high-risk slope areas.

He also proposed to allocate RM300 million to the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) for flood prevention.

7. RM2.8 billion will be allocated for road maintenance and federal bridges

Anwar said RM300 million out of the RM 2.8 billion will be specifically allocated for G1 to G4 contractors.

Meanwhile, RM100 million will be allocated for the maintenance of traffic lights and to replace existing lights with LED types that can save up to 60% of electricity.

8. RM350 million will be used to promote tourism activities in Malaysia, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2026

Anwar said an additional RM100 million will be provided for the benefit of state governments to maintain and conserve tourist attraction locations, including Tasik Timah Tasoh in Perlis, Kenong Rimba Park in Pahang, and Teluk Kemang Beach in Negeri Sembilan.

Royal Belum, Perak.

Image via Lonely Planet

9. 700,000 individuals under the Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR) programme will receive RM100 a month for a period of 12 months

The cash aid, allocated under the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (SARA) programme, will be credited into the STR recipients' MyKad.

10. Employee Provident Fund (EPF) to establish an account for members to withdraw at any time

Anwar said the proposal can empower EPF members to manage their retirement savings.

This is not the first time the government mooted the introduction of an 'Account 3'.

In July, EPF chief strategy officer Nurhisham Hussein said those who sign up for an 'Account 3' will be able to transfer their savings from Accounts 1 and 2 to Account 3, from which people will be able to make unconditional withdrawals.

Nurhisham said the special account will act as an emergency fund, and will probably offer a lower dividend compared to the other two accounts.

11. 10% discount for PTPTN borrowers to settle their full loan

Anwar also announced the following discount rates:

- 10% discount for a payment of at least 50% of the remaining debt in one installment

- 15% discount for payments via salary deduction or scheduled direct debit

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