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1 March 2023

KUALA LUMPUR,  (Bernama) – Although various parties have criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s maiden budget, particularly in relation to the expected rise in the nation’s debt, some experts see the unity government’s move as necessary to protect the welfare of the people.

Budget 2023 is the biggest national budget in the nation’s history with an allocation of RM388.1 billion. The previous government had unveiled an RM372.3 billion budget for 2023 on Oct 7 last year but three days later, Parliament was dissolved to pave the way for the 15th general election.

Experts are of the view that the revised expansionary budget, themed Developing Malaysia Madani, will ensure that the targeted groups benefit fully from the assistance rendered by the government.



Universiti Malaysia Perlis Faculty of Business and Communications senior lecturer Associate Prof Dr Mohd Zukime Mat Junoh

Commenting on this, Universiti Malaysia Perlis Faculty of Business and Communications senior lecturer Associate Prof Dr Mohd Zukime Mat Junoh said although it is a deficit budget, the unity government led by Anwar is optimistic that Budget 2023 can effectively deal with the cost of living issue.

“I view Budget 2023 as an aggressive step by the government to improve the well-being of the people, especially in terms of helping them to cope with the cost of living.  

“For this year, the government has allocated a substantial sum of RM64 billion for subsidies, aid and various other incentives to minimise the impact of rising costs,” he told Bernama.

He said even though this budget was not a complete solution to the cost of living issue, he, however, believed that the government is committed to addressing it through a slew of measures aimed at relieving the burden of the people, especially the vulnerable groups.

The proposed measures include food subsidies, a hike in energy subsidies and financial aid for students from low-income households in addition to the existing cash handouts.

“It’s hard to say that this budget is capable of completely alleviating the burden of the people because the cost of living issue is a complex problem as many factors are responsible for the escalation in the cost of living.

“As such, although the government can provide various aid (schemes) through this budget, the cost of living issue may still remain a problem over the long term. Hence, the government and the agencies involved must come up with an effective mechanism to control the food supply chain and stabilise the prices of goods,” he said, adding that leakages in the award of subsidies must also be plugged to ensure that only the targeted groups benefit from them.     



Mohd Zukime said Budget 2023 has also taken into consideration the plight of the M40 or medium-income group.

“The cuts in personal income taxes, for example, can hopefully benefit this group in terms of their financial management… any form of aid from the government will help in their economic and social survival,” he said.

When tabling the revised Budget 2023 in Parliament last Friday, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, announced a two percent cut in individual tax for the RM35,000 to RM100,000 taxable income band. 


Universiti Utara Malaysia economics lecturer Dr Nur Hafizah Ismail

Meanwhile, Universiti Utara Malaysia economics lecturer Dr Nur Hafizah Ismail said Budget 2023 constitutes the main thrust of developing an inclusive and sustainable economy through the provision of various initiatives for the people.  

She said besides catering to all the communities in Malaysia, various agencies will be involved in ensuring the success of each and every initiative announced by the government.

The budget’s focus on driving economic recovery will also indirectly enhance the people’s standard of living, she pointed out.

“To realise this, all the parties involved must work together. They include government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies that play an important role in stimulating economic development and helping the government to make a success of its people development agenda.

“This is not only limited to welfare initiatives but also in other areas such as the property field where incentives like stamp duty exemption can be given to enable people to buy their own homes. Such an incentive should not only be limited to the B40 and M40 groups but also the higher-income group,” she added.


Translated by Rema Nambiar



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