Budget 2022 was tabled today by Malaysia’s Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
This year’s budget focuses on the country’s recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and is also set to complement the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) and 12th Malaysia Plan.
It will also generate more jobs to tackle unemployment and enable the recovery process to return the country and its economy to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic with new norms in place.
With a total allocation of RM332.1 billion, here’s how it will benefit employees and job seekers.
Special aid for parents and civil servants
With a total welfare payout worth RM2.4 billion, the government will introduce targeted aid called Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) that will benefit more than 440,000 households. This is an improved initiative from the former BPR.
- An allocation of RM2,000 will be given to households with 3 or more children and a household income less than RM2,500;
- An additional RM500 will be given to single mothers or fathers who have dependents and a monthly income of RM5,000.
This means that single mothers and fathers with more than 3 children are entitled to a maximum relief fund of RM2,500.
An additional allocation of RM300 will also be given to senior citizens.
RM700 in special aid will be provided as a one-off cash handout to civil servants as a gesture of appreciation for their effort and sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19.
Taking care of health matters
Meanwhile, RM32.4 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Health. It is the second-largest allocation after the education sector’s RM52.6 billion and RM14.5 billion for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education respectively.
There will be RM100 million allocated to sponsor 3,000 contract medical and dental officers to pursue specialist training.
The government plans to provide individual and employer tax deductions for self-funded COVID-19 booster shots.
RM70 million has also been allocated for mental health programmes and support.
There are also plans to expand the scope of income tax exemption for health checkups. This includes costs for consultations with psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and licensed counsellors.
Creating more jobs across industries
RM4.8 billion has been allocated by the government to guarantee 600,000 job opportunities under the Jamin Kerja initiative.
As part of the continuation of the MyStep Initiative, 80,000 job placements in the public sector and government linked companies will be offered.
Amongst others, RM1.1 billion has been allocated for training and upskilling programmes for 220,000 trainees.
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector will receive an allocation of RM6.6 billion under Budget 2022.
Tax exemption for expenses incurred from attending upskilling courses will be increased to RM2,000.
Furthermore, the government will make it compulsory for all public listed companies to hire at least one female director.
Tengku Zafrul Aziz also said RM5 million would be allocated for the Women Leadership Foundation to encourage female participation in the economic sector.
EPF and tax deductions
Employees’ contribution rate to EPF that was reduced from 11% to 9% in 2020 will remain until June 2022.
The government will expand the tax break of up to RM4,000 for voluntary contributions to EPF including those self-employed and in the gig sector.
Increasing careers in esports and drone sports
Following the success of Malaysian esports player Cheng Jin Xiang or “NothingToSay” at Dota 2’s The International 10 competition, our Finance Minister has recognised the potential of the esports sector.
Thus, the budget has an allocation of RM20 million to develop esports in Malaysia and support up-and-coming athletes.
This allocation also includes RM5 million for the creation of a Drone Sports Centre of Excellence.
There will also be tax exemptions for cash prizes won at selected esports tournaments to further incentivise players.
Supporting careers in the tourism industry
A total of RM1.6 billion has been allocated for the tourism industry. RM600 million will be allocated under the Penjana Tourism Financing and BPMB Rehabilitation Scheme, while RM85 million will go towards a 3-month special assistance for over 20,000 tourism operators.
To encourage domestic tourism, the RM1,000 tax rebate will be extended until 2022.
- Read more Budget 2022 content here.
Featured Image Credit: Tengku Zafrul Aziz