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BUDGET 2018: All You Need To Know In 18 Key Highlights

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled #Budget2018 today.

Cover image via Aizuddin Saad/NST

The national budget was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Dewan Rakyat today, 27 October

Image via RTM

Prior to the tabling of the federal spending plan today, Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said that Budget 2018 will be comprehensive and contain measures to ensure that everyone would receive some benefit.

"This Budget will continue to be guided by my goal to correct the problems of the past and to make Malaysia stronger, more competitive at home and abroad; to create a Malaysia that protects the vulnerable and is fair to all: a Malaysia where none of our brothers and sisters are left behind," read the post on Najib's official blog.

This year's budget carries the theme, "Memakmur Ekonomi Yang Inklusif, Mengimbang Keunggulan Duniawi Dan Ukhrawi Demi Mensejahtera Kehidupan Rakyat, Menuju Aspirasi TN50 (Prospering an Inclusive Economy, Balancing between Worldly and Hereafter, for the Wellbeing of Rakyat, towards the TN50 Aspiration)".

Budget 2018 allocates RM280.25 billion, an increase from last year's RM260.8 billion. Najib said that RM234.45 billion is for administration while the remaining RM46 billion is intended for development.

The following are the key highlights of the budget:

1. ADAM50

The government will be introducing a new scheme known as 'Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050' or 'ADAM50'. Through this scheme, every child that is born from 1 January 2018 until 2022 will receive RM200 each through Amanah Saham.

2. Agriculture

The agriculture sector receives a total RM6.5 billion allocation for farmers, fishermen, smallholders, and rubber tappers.

Out of this allocation, RM150 million will be set aside for a monthly handout of RM200 for three months to paddy farmers who are awaiting the harvesting season.

This is the largest allocation in Malaysian history.

3. BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid scheme)

Image via Sinar Harian

Seven million Malaysians will receive a maximum benefit of RM1,200 (per household) in BR1M in 2018.

4. Bumiputera initiatives

• RM1.7 billion in Dana Mudahcara for 515 projects.

• RM80 million has been put aside under the Rural Economic Financing Scheme through Bank Rakyat and SME Bank to provide financing facilities to rural Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

• RM2.4 billion has been allocated to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

• A RM2.5 billion allocation for MARA scholarships for higher education or training courses.

• A RM200 million allocation for MARA Graduate Employability Training Scheme (GETS).

• RM555 million allocated for Program Peningkatan Keusahawanan Bumiputera.

5. Civil servants

• A special one-off RM1,500 assistance for civil servants - RM1,000 in January 2018 and RM500 during Hari Raya in 2018.

• Government pensioners to receive a special one-off payment of RM750.

• To raise minimum pension for civil servants (with at least 25 years of service) to RM1,000 per month.

6. Education

A total of RM61.6 billion has been allocated for the education sector.

• RM654 million for four pre-school construction, nine PERMATA centres, 48 schools including primary, secondary and vocational schools, and a matriculation centre.

• RM550 million allocated for improvement and upkeep of schools.

• RM2.5 billion to repair school infrastructure for the year 2018 to 2019.

• RM2.9 billion to give aid in forms of food, text books, and small federal scholarships.

• RM2.2 billion is allocated for JPA (Public Service Department), Higher Education Ministry, and Health Ministry scholarships.

• RM400 million grants for research and development in public higher education institutions, including special allocation for UM to become one of the Top 100 universities globally.

• All students in higher education institutions and Form 6 will receive book vouchers worth RM250 each.

• A total of RM328 million allocated for low income students who will receive RM100 school aid each.

7. PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation)

PTPTN repayment incentives will be extended until the end of December 2018.

• 20% discount on full settlement made in a single payment.

• 10% discount for payment of at least 50% of outstanding amount made in a single payment.

• 10% discount for monthly payments paid through salary deductions or direct debit.

8. FELDA

• A Special Settler's Incentive worth RM5,000 per person.

• RM43 million allocation to return SES (Bantuan Tanam Semula Getah) money paid by rubber settlers who replanted their trees with palm oil from 2010 to 2016.

• RM60 million allocation for the palm oil replanting programme.

• RM200 million allocation for water supply systems, road improvements and lighting in FELDA areas.

9. GST

• Zero-rated GST on all reading materials including all types of magazines, comics, journals and periodicals, effective 1 January 2018.

GST reliefs for:

• Construction of school buildings, and houses of worship funded through donations (applies construction contract signed on or after 1 April 2017)

• Imports of oil and gas-related equipment under a lease agreement, supplied to customers in Malaysia by companies in designated areas

• Imports of big ticket items such as aircraft and ships by airlines and shipping companies registered in Malaysia

• Companies in the oil and gas industry importing oil rigs or coating structures

10. Healthcare

A total of RM27 billion has been allocated for the healthcare sector.

• RM2.5 billion for medicine supply and RM1.6 billion for consumable items and medical support.

• RM100 million to upgrade hospital and clinics, including electrical/wiring systems.

• RM1.4 billion for the upgrading and maintenance of health facilities, medical equipment, and ambulances.

• RM50 million for haemodialysis assistance with a subsidy of RM100 from the total cost of RM110 ringgit for each treatment session. This means that patients only need to pay RM10 for each session.

11. Housing

Image via Kinibiz

A sum of RM2.2 billion has been allocated for the housing sector.

• Tax exemption on rental income from residential properties amounting to 50% of rental income up to RM2,000 a month.

• RM1.5 billion allocated for 210,000 homes under the 1Malaysia People's Housing (PR1MA) scheme valued below RM250,000.

RM200 million allocated for the maintenance and upgrade of homes.

12. Protecting the vulnerable groups

• A RM100 million allocation to increase the allowance of working and unemployed OKU (people with disabilities), and their caretakers to RM100 per month.

• A RM603 million allocation to increase monthly allowance of senior citizens to RM350 per month.

• RM245 million allocated as assistance to children from poor families.

13. Rural development

A total of RM6.5 billion is allocated for rural development.  

• RM2 billion allocated for Pan Borneo highway.

• RM1.1 billion allocated for people-friendly projects like surau, bridge repair, street lights, and markets.

• RM934 million for rural road projects including RM500 million for Sabah and Sarawak.

• RM420 million allocated for Sabah and Sarawak, with almost RM300 million out of it to ensure clean water supply for both states.

• RM1 billion to upgrade the communication infrastructure and broadband facilities in Sabah and Sarawak.

14. Sports

• A sum of RM1 billion is allocated for sports initiatives including FitMalaysia, National Sports Day, athlete training, and others.

• RM112 million is allocated for the construction of 14 new sports complexes.

• RM20 million will be allocated to upgrade Bukit Jalil Sports School.

15. Tax

More than 261,000 people will no longer have to pay income tax while there is a reduction in individual income tax:

Individual income tax for Malaysians for the tax bracket of RM20,000-RM70,000 will be reduced by two percentage points.

Taxable income bracket between:

RM20,001-RM35,000: Reduced from 5% to 3%
RM35,001-RM50,000: Reduced from 10% to 8%
RM50,001-RM70,000: Reduced from 16% to 14%

16. Toll

Starting 1 January 2018, the following toll collection will be abolished:

1. Batu Tiga, Shah Alam
2. Sungai Rasau, Selangor
3. Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah
4. Eastern Dispersal Link, Johor

17. Transport

• RM230 million allocated for Raub-Bentong and Gua Musang-Kampung Relong alignments of the Central Spine Road project.

• RM1 billion allocated to Public Transport Academy as working capital and purchase of assets such as buses and taxis.

• RM95 million for the repair and construction of jetties and dredge river estuaries.

RM45 million to create a biometric control system to monitor the express bus drivers and their driving.

• RM55 million subsidy for rural train services, from Tumpat to Gua Musang.

18. Uphold the greatness and integrity of Islam

• RM558 million has been allocated for allowances to imams, bilals, KAFA teachers and takmirs. They will also receive a special RM1,500 assistance through a RM100 million allocation.

• A RM50 million allocation for GiatMara to repair and maintain wiring systems at all registered tahfiz schools nationwide.

What do you think of the #Budget2018 allocations? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

For the full text of Najib's budget speech, visit his official website here

More on #Budget2018 here:

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