Pakatan Harapan has held the first meeting with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to initiate discussions of proposals for the upcoming Budget 2022 at 4.30pm on Tuesday, 21 September 2022. This is consequent to the MOU for Transformation and Political Stability signed between the Pakatan Harapan parties and the Government on 13th September 2021.
The 9-member Pakatan Harapan delegation was led by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng. The members comprised of Dato’ Seri Saifuddin Nasution, Fuziah Salleh and Wong Chen from PKR; Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Ustaz Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus and Ir Izham Hashim for Amanah; as well as Chong Chieng Jen and Tony Pua from DAP. The delegation met with the Minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz and his Deputy, Mohd Shahar Abdullah, as well as the key officers from MoF.
In the meeting, we discussed the new proposed framework for dialogue and consultation between the Government and PH for Budget 2022 and other finance-related Acts. It has been agreed that the main committee will meet with the Minister and his team for another three meetings, while a working committee will be set up to discuss the finer details of any proposed measures.
For this first meeting, the Minister has presented an outline of his Budget 2022 approach of ‘Recovery, Resilience and Reform’, while PH shared some of our preliminary budget proposals with the Minister.
Our preliminary Budget proposals will include the breakdown of the RM45 billion agreed expenditure per the MOU – RM4 billion for the Health sector to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including subsidizing self-test kits and implementing rigorous ‘Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support’ (FTTIS) measures; RM30 billion of grants and subsidies for the economic sector; RM6 billion in work hiring incentives in the form of Malaysians@Work programme which was proposed by Pakatan Harapan in Budget 2020 and at least RM5 billion for households in the form of welfare payments.
We have also requested for a RM2 billion budget to make available soft loans of up to RM50,000 for micro, small and medium enterprises via the BSN to be granted to businesses which have been badly affected by the pandemic, including F&B, travel and tourism and retail.
In our preliminary proposal, we have also asked for improved social protection via improved i-Suri and i-Saraan contributions, expansion of the MySalam scheme for M40s, childcare subsidies for those who have lost their jobs.
Other budget measures focused on investments in the green and digital economy, with grants and subsidies to accelerate the growth in these sectors. We also called upon the Government to assist successful local companies to become regional and global champions, while at the same time, providing greater incentives to attract the top global companies to set up operations in Malaysia.
We have also requested for the Budget to provide a focus on Sabah and Sarawak, by investing more in healthcare facilities, increasing the Special Grant to Sabah and Sarawak under Section 112D of the Federal Constitution as well as to ensure that East Malaysia will receive at least 30% of the development budget.
Other matters discussed included the need for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) compliance and reporting, as well as a gender-responsive budget.
We hope that these proposals will be provided with full consideration as they are certainly in line with the Minister’s proposed ‘Recovery, Resilience and Reform’ framework for Budget 2022.
‘RESTORING OUR COUNTRY, RESTORING DEMOCRACY’
Members of Pakatan Harapan Economic Committee :-
YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee (Ahli Parlimen Petaling Jaya, DAP)
YB Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor, AMANAH)
YB Wong Chen (Ahli Parlimen Subang, KEADILAN)
YB Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew (Ahli Parlimen Wangsa Maju, KEADILAN)
YB Noor Amin Ahmad (Ahli Parlimen Kangar, KEADILAN)
Ammar Atan (Pemuda AMANAH)
Raja Iskandar Fareez (DAP)
Syeikh Khuzaifah (Pemuda AMANAH)
E Hun Tan (DAP)