Mr. Lim Guan Eng, the Finance Minister under the Pakatan Harapan Government, tabled his maiden Budget Speech. The theme for the 2019 Budget is “A Resurgent Malaysia, A Dynamic Economy, A Prosperous Society”. Indeed it is a tough balancing act having to juggle between the nation’s debt of RM1 trillion, the revised 3.7% fiscal deficit in 2018 and the need to raise Government revenue for Malaysia. The Prime Minister’s recent message of “Malaysians are to be prepared for sacrifices for the nation” is deafeningly loud.
Pleasantly comforting, the 2019 Budget appears to be comprehensive, inclusive and forward thinking.
The cancellation of the Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) has cost the Government RM21 billion in lost revenues. However, the higher crude oil price is a saving grace. Crude oil price is USD72.81 per barrel today compared to USD60.25 a year ago. Arising therefrom, Petronas will declare a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion in 2019 to the Government which would be used to repay outstanding GST and income tax refunds amounting to RM37 billion.
The good news is that there are no new taxes to be introduced in 2019. Read more >>>