Budget to focus on better jobs, better pay, says Guan Eng

Putrajaya says its upcoming budget will focus on job creation for Malaysians. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The coming budget will give emphasis on creating more job opportunities with reasonable pay to motivate the Malaysian workforce, says Lim Guan Eng.

The finance minister said it is important that every Malaysian gets equal opportunity to find a job which gives reasonable pay.

“I believe Malaysian workers are better than foreign workers from Bangladesh and Myanmar, but you must give them the right incentive.

“There is no reason for our workers to lose out to those from Myanmar and Bangladesh, but what is lacking is perhaps the motivation and desire, which can be found through better pay,” he told Bernama in an interview.

The 2020 Budget will be tabled on Oct 11, 2019.

In his speech during a budget consultation meeting on June 27, Lim said the government is trying to find solutions to the increase in living costs.

Inflation rates for March, April and May 2019 remained low and stable at 0.2%.

He said wage growth is just as crucial as managing living costs, adding that there is little comfort from gross domestic products (GDP) rates if wages do not increase.

“To have higher growth, the only sustainable way of doing so is to raise our productivity. The government has identified Industry 4.0 as the new source of productivity and economic growth.

“This specifically means the digitalisation of the economy, and wider application of new technology such as artificial intelligence, big data and robotics in our daily life,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lim said the finance ministry has also adopted a new policy this year which would return savings made from a ministry’s administrative reforms to the same ministry.

He said in the past, these savings would go the government but with the new policy, ministries were now able to fully enjoy savings generated from administrative reforms.

“This will allow them to carry out more projects because they will not need the finance ministry’s approval when they need to utilise these savings.

“We see that ministries are already motivated to cut down costs so they can use the savings for other projects. We think this can be a game-changer five years down the road,” he added.