Posted on 25 October 2013 - 10:51pm
Last updated on 25 October 2013 - 11:00pm
Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow
Founder and chairman
Public Bank Bhd
Budget 2014 encompasses comprehensive initiatives with bold measures to consolidate the fiscal soundness of the country, strengthen the domestic economic activity and ensure the welfare of the Rakyat is not compromised.
We would like to congratulate Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak for continuing the transformational theme in the budget in driving Malaysia to become a high income nation.
We welcome the government's firm commitment to continue to address the country's fiscal challenge by further reducing the budget deficit from 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 to 3.5% in 2014, through a combination of efforts in increasing revenue and controlling of expenditure of the federal government.
We also believe that the goods and services tax (GST) will be implemented in a coordinated and efficient manner in order to minimise any undesirable impact to the Rakyat as well as in broadening the revenue base of the federal government.
While pursuing continuous fiscal discipline, the proposed measures by the government continue to promote economic development.
Budget 2014 will stimulate the momentum of economic growth as various initiatives are taken to increase private investment across broad-based economic sectors, which will further strengthen the country's domestic fundamentals amidst the weak global growth.
In addition, the budget demonstrates the government's concern for the people's well-being amidst rising cost of living. The government's continuous support on public health, home ownership and welfare will help ease the financial burden of the Rakyat.
On the GDP growth outlook, the projected growth rates of 4.5%-5% for 2013 and 5%-5.5% for 2014 remain respectable, considering major headwinds and downside risks in the external environment.
With Malaysia's strong economic fundamentals, coupled with the government's strong commitment of prudent fiscal management, we are confident Budget 2014 will bring Malaysia towards a sustainable high income economy.