The devil is in the execution - MEF president on Budget 2023

24 Feb 2023 09:45pm
Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim - BERNAMA
Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim - BERNAMA

SHAH ALAM - While Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his cabinet have addressed the core issues of the nation with importance and urgency, the devil is in the execution, says Malaysian Employment Federation (MEF) president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman.

Syed Hussain expressed MEF's hope that all stakeholders would adhere to the prime minister’s message on the urgency of implementation and seeking the targeted results. He said, "The administration must further simplify processes and make life easier for businesses and entrepreneurs.

"MEF is in full support of Budget 2023. MEF now sees serious actions and steps in the pipeline to address long standing issues.” he added.

Syed Hussain then touched on the RM290 million grant to encourage new mothers to return to the work force after giving birth which will enhance the women participation rate in the labour force. He said that Socso will provide grants equivalent to 80 per cent of the salary, adding that it was estimated that more than 130,000 women will return to work after giving birth.

While MEF welcomes the two per cent reduction on income tax for RM35,000 to 100,000 income bracket, Syed Hussain hoped that the reduction in income tax rates will be extended to all levels of income.

Furthermore, the MEF president shared that automation through robotics will encourage more employers to adopt digitalisation and the industrial revolution (IR) 4.0. He said, "Government's move to provide RM50 million grant to promote the plantation automation sector through robotics and artificial intelligence will attract local talent to join plantation industry and reduce reliance on foreign workers.

"The RM80 million allocation will improve sustainability of palm oil and to counter Anti-Palm Oil Campaign." he added.

Hussain also mentioned that the initiative to upskill gig workers will ensure that the group of workers are not left behind as Socso will provide allowance of RM300 for three months to replace the income of gig workers who are active and undergoing training programmes. He said, "RM40 million is allocated for the benefit of 30,000 gig workers.

Related Articles:

"The allocation of RM1 billion fund for workers' skills training programme for registered workers and have accumulated levies will enhance training of employees under HRDC. RM10 million allocation will be given to the Prison Agro Programme for agriculture activity on the 70ha prison land. This initiative will encourage inmates to be more self reliant upon release from prison.” he elaborated.

In regards to the incentive of RM600-per-month under Socso to employers who employ 17,000 Tvet graduates for three months in addition to the salary offered with allocation RM45 million, Hussain foresaw that more employers would be encouraged to employ Tvet graduates. In addition to that, he believed that the government’s initiative to implement a pilot model involving Federal Tvet institutions with a target of 50 companies, mainly from among GLCs will give more confidence for private sector to follow suit later.

In his opinion, the pilot programme leading companies will partially or fully take over the operations of Tvet institutions such as community colleges, Public Skills Training Institutes (ILAs) and National Youth Skills Institutes (IKBN) to provide training programmes. He said, "As an example, Petronas - the oil and gas cluster in Pengerang, Kimanis, Batu Rakit and Miri;DRB Hicom - automotive cluster in Pekan; Sunway -hospitality cluster; and MRCB - construction cluster.

"Such initiative will ensure that the Tvet training will meet the requirements of the relevant industries and thereby eliminate mismatches.” he added.

Next, the employment federation head recalled the prime minister's acknowledgement of both SME and MSME as the real backbone of the nation's economy. He then shared MEF's appreciation for the financial support and the incentives given for MSMEs under Budget 2023 which will also ensure employment is protected at entry level.

He then predicted that the growth of skills and talent under Tvet will further support the businesses with the required skilled workforce. He said, "With the support given to entrepreneurs and development of skills and talent, it is comprehensive and will mutually benefit employees and businesses.

Then, Hussain pointed MEF's support of the premier's efforts to focus on addressing the high cost of living, further strengthening the social safety nets and enhancing the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ecosystem. He noted that these efforts are critical as high cost of living is of great concern of all people and not only those in B40 and M40.

According to him, enhancing the ecosystem for the MSMEs which constitute about 98 per cent of all registered companies in Malaysia is critical to ensure sustainability of MSMEs. He said, "Streamlining business processes through implementation of high technology and digitalisation will enable employers to improve their processes and enhance their productivity.

"It is really comforting that Dato’ Seri Anwar reiterated that the government is committed to protecting the livelihood of the people, upholding integrity, enhancing a caring and compassionate society, as well as improving the effectiveness of public and private sector delivery systems. About RM64 billion will be allocated for subsidies, aids and incentives to minimise the cost of living, through price control, cash aids and services for the needy." he added.

Besides that, Hussain also highlighted the government’s People Income Initiative (Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat, IPR) which will enable the poor to increase their income. RM750 million allocation in 2023 ensure the IPR is a success and will uplift the status of the estimimated 130,000 hardcore poor in 2023, he said.

Earlier today, the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar tabled Budget 2023 with revised allocation of RM386.14 billion, the largest allocation in Malaysia’s history. The 2023 budget allocation is an upward revision from the RM372.3 billion budget tabled by the previous government in October 2022.

A substantial allocation of 23.5 per cent will be provided for emoluments, subsidies and social assistance (15.2 per cent), economic (14.3 per cent), debt service charges (11.9 per cent), supplies and services (8.3 per cent), retirement charges (8.0 per cent), social (6.9 per cent), security (3.0 per cent), grants and transfers to state governments (2.1 per cent), general administration (1.0 per cent) and others (5.8 per cent). Budget 2023 will enable the GDP to grow by 4.5% above world GDP average GDP of two to three per cent.

More Like This