Archive for the ‘Budget 2021’ Category

Sabah civil servants to get one-off RM600 payment

Friday, December 18th, 2020
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the payout, which involves an allocation of RM8.7 million, will be paid next month. - Bernama photo. Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the payout, which involves an allocation of RM8.7 million, will be paid next month. – Bernama photo.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government today announced a special one-off payment of RM600 to the state’s civil servants as a form of recognition for their contributions.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the payout, which involves an allocation of RM8.7 million, will be paid next month.

The civil service, he said, is the heart and pulse of the state government.

“I hope this incentive will give a boost to the state civil servants to work harder to improve the quality of service to the people.

“At the same time, it is hoped that the public service can continue to function effectively through appropriate new normal strategies and approaches while complying with the demands of the new norms during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said during the tabling of the state 2021 Budget here.

Hajiji, who is also state Finance Minister, announced a RM12 million allocation in assistance for parents in medium and bottom household income groups whose children who are pursuing studies at tertiary institutions as well as Form 5 and Form 6 students who will be sitting for exams.

Students undergoing admission for the first time at higher learning institutions will receive a one-off assistance worth RM2,000 each under the IPT Registration Cash Assistance (BUDI).

Students sitting for examinations, meanwhile, will receive RM200 per person under the Special Assistance Cash Examinations (BAKTI) aid for those sitting for the Sjil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), final semester of the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) exams at the end of next year.

Hajiji said a School Social Assistance programme will also be implemented with an allocation of RM13.9 million.

It will involve the distribution of school uniforms, shoes and stationery to 1,074 primary schools throughout Sabah, with the aim of alleviating the burden of low-income and poor households in managing school expenses.

By Olivia Miwil,

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Much ado in Parliament but Perikatan’s Budget 2021 clears third reading by three votes

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

PN government succeeded in getting its Budget 2021 through the third reading in the Dewan Rakyat after MPs voted 111-108 in its favour today. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): Despite all the speculation and drama in the last few weeks, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s Budget 2021 was passed 111-108 in its third reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun announced the absence of one MP when the Opposition called for bloc voting. It is believed the missing lawmaker is Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from Barisan Nasional.

The Dewan Rakyat also passed the budgets for the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education earlier today. With this, the allocations for all 27 ministries have cleared the committee stage.

“This vote is proof the Perikatan Nasional government is concerned about the people,” Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali (PN-Gombak) said in his support of the Budget motion when tabled by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

His remark triggered shouts of “pengkhianat” — Malay for traitor — from Opposition MPs.

Yesterday, Pakatan Harapan (PH) has urged federal lawmakers from the Opposition bloc and government backbenchers to vote against the third reading of the Budget 2021 Bill in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow.

In urging lawmakers to reject Budget 2021, PH’s Secretariat Council said the Finance Ministry in its various media statements and round-up speech of the Budget failed to accommodate the various requests made by lawmakers and the public at large in regards to the people’s welfare.

This included issues such as the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal, bank loan moratoriums, assistance to frontliners and those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, children education, reduced income, unemployment and rising cost of living.

“PH had previously stated it will debate on Budget 2021 in the committee stage and subsequently call for a bloc vote during the third reading which is expected to take place tomorrow.

“Therefore, PH is urging all MPs, whether they’re Opposition members or government backbenchers who understood that the Budget failed to achieve its objectives in the fight against Covid-19, assisting the people and rejuvenating the economy, to reject it tomorrow,” it said in a statement.

The statement was co-signed by Parti Amanah Negara communication director Khalid Samad, PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, and DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.

The Opposition had called for bloc voting on allocations for more than five ministries, including the Finance Ministry and Prime Minister’s Department, but failed to garner sufficient votes so far.

by Malay Mail.

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Govt’s debt, liability exposures at RM1.257 trillion as at end-September – MOF

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Mohd Shahar says the government’s total debt and liability exposures are estimated to be RM1.257 trillion, or 87.3 per cent of the GDP, as at the end of September 2020. – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): The government’s total debt and liability exposures are estimated to be RM1.257 trillion, or 87.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as at the end of September 2020, said Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah.

Federal debt as at end-September amounted to RM874.3 billion or 60.7 per cent of GDP, he said.

“However, based on statutory limit calculations, the federal debt, comprising Malaysian Government Securities (MGS), Malaysian Government Investment Issues (MGII) and Malaysia Islamic Treasury Bills (MITB), comprised only 56.6 per cent of GDP, which is less than the 60 per cent limit set recently,” he said during the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He was replying to Amanah president Mohamad Sabu’s (PH-Kota Raja) questions on the government’s current debt position and the debt-to-GDP ratio.

“The government is committed to ensuring the refinancing of its debts is implemented in an orderly manner according to schedule,” Mohd Shahar said.

In view of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic crisis, he said, the government would focus on economic recovery, especially to safeguard the people’s welfare and support business activities.

Mohd Shahar said after the economy had recovered, the government would go back to implementing fiscal consolidation measures to ensure the Federal Government’s debt and financial liability exposures remain well-controlled and manageable.

The measures would include expanding the revenue base, strengthening tax administration and enforcement, and increasing spending efficiency to contain the federal deficit level, he explained.

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PM’s Dept budget passed through bloc vote

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat today passed the budget for the Prime Minister’s Department through a bloc vote.

There were 105 ayes and 95 nays. Twenty 20 MPs did not vote. Another two – Liew Vui Keong (Batu Sapi) and Hasbullah Osman (Gerik) – have passed away. Their seats are still vacant.

Earlier, Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun had called for a voice vote which saw the Perikatan Nasional MPs clearly having a louder voice.

However, the opposition MPs called for a bloc vote with more than 15 of them – the minimum number required – standing up in a show of support.

Azhar announced the results after the votes were tallied in about 10 minutes.

Halfway through the voting process, opposition MPs stood up to object against Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Bharu) entering the hall while the votes were being counted.

The Prime Minister’s Department consist of five ministries – Law, Economy, Religious Affairs, Special Functions, and Sabah and Sarawak Affairs.

The MPs will now continue debating the allocations for the other ministries, before passage of the Supply Bill 2021 at committee stage.

Last week, the RM322 billion budget was passed through a voice vote at the policy stage after the opposition MPs failed to get 15 MPs to push for a bloc vote.

By: FMT.

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Budget 2021 not fully passed yet, says Azmin

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is not about “to celebrate” the passing of Budget 2021 at the policy stage as it knows that it has to face another obstacle before it is “truly passed”, says Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (pic). The Senior Minister said Budget 2021 was not something to be taken lightly, which was why the government took the time to answer and address issues raised by MPs in Parliament.

“This is no cause for celebration. The only ones politicising it is the opposition, ” he said when met at a hotel here yesterday where Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia held its supreme council meeting.

Azmin said this in response to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s warning to the government to not celebrate their victory in passing Budget 2021 at the policy stage just yet.

On Thursday, Anwar cautioned that the Budget could still be blocked when it entered the committee stage starting next Monday, following the passing of Budget 2021 at the policy stage in Parliament through a voice vote.

Azmin said the RM322.5bil budget was meant to help people whose lives were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as help the country’s economy recover.

He said the government had also consulted the Opposition to get their views on the Budget before it was tabled.

“Pakatan Harapan has never taken such an open approach, ” he said.

Azmin also said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz also took time to scrutinise what could be done now, and what could be done down the road, when drafting the Budget.

“This is not a one-off budget, so it had to be dynamic and we needed an inclusive approach to responding to the current needs, ” he said, adding that the government would continue with its approach to responding to any issue raised to get Budget 2021 passed.

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Budget 2021: King’s expresses appreciation to MPs for their support

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

PETALING JAYA: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has expressed his appreciation to MPs who gave their support for Budget 2021, says the Palace.

The King said that Budget 2021 is important to the government and authorities to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Budget 2021 was passed with a voice vote at 3.24pm in Parliament on Thursday (Nov 26).

Here is the full statement:

Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa KDYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah menzahirkan penghargaan kepada semua Ahli-ahli Dewan Rakyat yang telah memberi sokongan bagi meluluskan Belanjawan 2021 pada persidangan Dewan Rakyat, hari ini.

Al-Sultan Abdullah mengalu-alukan sokongan yang telah diberikan bagi kelulusan Belanjawan 2021 untuk menjamin kesejahteraan dan kelangsungan hidup rakyat serta pemulihan ekonomi negara yang terkesan akibat penularan wabak Covid-19.

Seri Paduka Baginda turut menzahirkan penghargaan kepada Ahli-ahli Dewan Rakyat yang telah mendokong titah nasihat Baginda pada 28 Oktober 2020 lalu untuk memberi sokongan demi kesejahteraan dan keselamatan rakyat serta kemaslahatan negara.

Sesungguhnya, selain daripada pemulihan ekonomi negara dan kelangsungan hidup rakyat, Belanjawan 2021 amat penting kepada Kerajaan dan pihak berkuasa, khususnya petugas barisan hadapan, untuk meneruskan dan melancarkan dasar serta usaha membendung dan menangani ancaman wabak Covid-19.

Selaku Ketua Negara, Al-Sultan Abdullah amat menghormati setiap parti politik yang berdaftar di negara ini.

Seri Paduka Baginda juga menghargai peranan dan amanah yang dipertanggungjawabkan kepada Ahli-ahli Dewan Rakyat dalam membela kebajikan rakyat.

Sehubungan dengan itu, Seri Paduka Baginda amat menghargai komitmen dan semangat muafakat serta gandingan bahu setiap pihak kerana ianya amatlah penting bagi mengekalkan momentum pemulihan ekonomi demi kesejahteraan bersama.

Marilah kita sama merenung firman Allah Subhanahu wa Taala dalam Sural AnNisa, ayat 85 yang bermaksud: “Sesiapa yang memberi syafaat (bantuan dan pertolongan) yang baik nescaya ia akan memperoleh bahagian (pahala) daripadanya. Dan sesiapa yang memberi syafaat (bantuan dan pertolongan) yang buruk nescaya ia akan mendapat bahagian (dosa) daripadanya. Dan ingatlah Allah amat berkuasa atas tiap-tiap sesuatu”.

Al-Sultan Abdullah turut menzahirkan keyakinan penuh kemampuan Kerajaan untuk menerajui pentadbiran negara pada saat negara sedang diuji dengan pelbagai krisis ini.

by Dato’ Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Istana Negara

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MOH hopes MPs will vote wisely on Budget 2021

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

File photo for illustration purposes

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) has expressed hope that Members of Parliament (MPs) will vote wisely on Budget 2021 for the sake of the country and the people, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At a time when the country is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, MOH is confident that they understand the current situation, that is the pandemic and country’s financial situation, and hope that the MPs will vote wisely,” said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said this at a press conference today on Covid-19 when asked on MOH’s hope on the budget vote, which is expected to be taken tomorrow in the Dewan Rakyat.

Meanwhile, on the Teratai cluster in Klang, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH has not found any community infection, as the COVID-19 cases detected so far involved only workers and their close contacts.

“For example, 164 Malaysian workers who live in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur went back and infected about 70 of their family members, but outside of the cluster we have not seen any infection among the community,” he said.

He said the company has 11,215 workers and so far 6,506 screening tests have been conducted, with 4,063 testing positive, 2,270 negative and 173 still awaiting their results.

“Tomorrow, we will complete 14 days of quarantine for them and on the 13th day we will do a second test. We will only release them if the results are negative,” he added.

He said MOH yesterday issued an order for the closure of 20 factories of the company, and eight more will be closed in stages.

“Although the factories have been shut, their machines have to continue running to avoid damage due to inactivity. So, we allow the machines to operate but at a minimum level,” he added.

by Bernama.

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2021 Budget: Entrepreneurs get help

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Women entrepreneurs stand to gain from the numerous provisions and programmes proposed under the 2021 Budget aimed at reviving the economy following the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession (Peniagawati) president Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi said apart from the RM50 million offered via Ar-Rahnu BizNita and RM95 million under Tekun Nasional, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Agrobank, there were other initiatives that empowered women entrepreneurs.

Among them, she said, included the RM510 million under Tekun Nasional and Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd, RM800 million for capacity-building programmes by SME Bank and Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd as well as RM500 million set aside under the National Development Scheme for Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession (Peniagawati) president Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi.

Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession (Peniagawati) president Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi.

“For Peniagawati, the budget is proof that the government recognises the contribution of women entrepreneurs in driving the economy of the country.

“The budget is also an extension and continuation of the assistance introduced under previous stimulus packages to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.”

She urged women entrepreneurs to take up the opportunity to build their resilience in business and boost productivity.

At the same time, she hopes the respective agencies would monitor the implementation and delivery of the initiatives drawn up in the budget.

Azlin stressed that the distribution of the budget allocation should be carried out in the spirit of helping entrepreneurs.

“There are a number of entrepreneurs who are still in the process of reviving their businesses and there are also those who are still suffering from the aftermath of the pandemic.

“Hence, it is imperative for agencies to ensure that these entrepreneurs receive assistance.

“This will ensure their business continuity so that they can contribute to the economy,” she said.

By Adib Povera.

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2021 Budget: Ensuring the growth of SMEs, cooperatives

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. - NSTP/File picEntrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. – NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The 2021 Budget, together with the assistance rolled out under four economic stimulus packages, shows the Perikatan Nasional government’s commitment to build economic resilience among small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and cooperatives.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government also recognised the role played by some 900,000 SME and micro-scale entrepreneurs, and 14,000 cooperatives in driving the economy.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Wan Junaidi said SMEs contributed 38 per cent towards the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and helped to create 48 per cent or about seven million job opportunities.

He said cooperatives, comprising 6.09 million members nationwide, had helped to generate RM40 billion of the country’s GDP.

“Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the ministry is optimistic of achieving the target outlined in the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 for SMEs to generate 50 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2030.

“The ministry has been intensifying efforts as well as shifting focus to ensure SMEs and cooperatives continue to be aided,” he told reporters here yesterday.

The 2021 Budget, Wan Junaidi said, also reflected the efforts by the government to help SME entrepreneurs expand their business as well as generate greater wealth, which would in turn help create a more conducive economic environment.

“With the 2021 Budget, we hope to elevate SME entrepreneurs, who are mostly from the B40 income segment, to break into the M40 group or higher,” he said.

For SMEs and cooperatives to rise above the economic challenges brought about by Covid-19, Wan Junaidi said it was imperative for entrepreneurs to realign their business focus according to new norms.

“We understand that there are SMEs who are still stuck in the old ways of doing business. To help them tap into opportunities available in e-commerce, the government will soon be launching the national e-commerce policy.

“Under the policy that will be unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the ministry will play a significant role to make sure all SMEs benefit from various e-commerce platforms.”

The ministry, he said, would also be expanding its Warong Rider online delivery service programme at every parliamentary constituency in the country.

The service, which is partly financed by the Micro Connector Programme, aims to help hawkers and traders generate employment opportunities, especially for youths in the rural areas.

By Adib Povera.

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Winding up delayed 40 minutes after MPs asked for more time for ministers to reply

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Parliament members attend the Parliament session. – Bernama file photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 23): The ministerial winding-up session on the Budget 2021 debate in the Dewan Rakyat was delayed by some 40 minutes today after several opposition members disputed the time allotted for ministers and the number of representatives allowed in the House at any one time.

Just before the start of winding-up at the policy stage, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) asked that more Members of Parliament (MPs) be allowed to listen to the ministers’ winding-up speeches instead of the limit of 80 representatives agreed to earlier.

His sentiment was shared by Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar (PH-Kuala Langat) and Datuk Johari Abdul (PH-Sungai Petani), who said it was difficult to decide which MPs should be allowed in the House as most of them had spoken on various topics during the debate on the Budget.

Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir also stood up to ask for more time to be given to ministers to wind up the debate so that they could address all the questions raised by MPs.

“I am worried there is not enough time as 20 minutes for each ministry is too short. Past sessions used to end at midnight and even 2 am or 3 am. So, I would like to ask for time extension,” he said.

However, Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said the rule on time limit and presence of MPs was set based on advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and briefings by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“Previously, we did not have COVID-19, and we had just been briefed by Dr Noor Hisham on the pressing COVID-19 situation, especially in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur which have seen a spike in cases.

“That’s why we need to limit the number of MPs in the House and shorten the meeting hours,” he added.

This prompted P. Prabakaran (PH-Batu), Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai), Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai) and RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) to join in the verbal exchange, among others asking that more days be set aside for the current sitting so that MPs who did not participate in the debate could ask questions during the winding-up session.

Replying to these queries, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the 20-minute time limit was set to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as the country was grappling with the pandemic.

“Dr Noor Hisham said a longer parliament is riskier and when told that they have only 20 minutes, the ministers too complained that they would not be able to convey all their answers.

“But this is the regulation. I give you my assurance that once each minister has finished winding up after presenting the executive summary in 20 minutes, whatever text that could not be read out will be uploaded in the Malaysian Parliament portal,” he said.

Anwar, however, stood up again claiming that MPs would not have enough time to question or seek clarification from the ministers within the 20 minutes and this would weaken the Parliamentary spirit.

Azhar, who expressed his disappointment with MPs for raising this issue at the last minute, said he would invite all party chief whips for another meeting to decide on the matter.

“I was in office on Sunday; my WhatsApp is known to all…(but) nobody contacted me on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to discuss this matter. The same situation happened during the tabling of Budget 2021 the other day.

“Finally, when it’s 11 am, all stood up to raise this matter. This is my complaint. We have an agreement but no one contacted me about this matter so that we could discuss it before today.

“So, I don’t want us to lose more time today; I will have a meeting and invite all party chief whips to discuss this matter,” he added.

by Bernama.

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