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Friday, September 6, 2013

The youth of Perak want Budget 2014 to help relieve their financial burden

Published: Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 8:49:04 AM


Train them better: Chu believes that the government should
do something to improve human resource management
in various sectors.

YOUNG working adults who just ventured into their respective careers, are hoping that Budget 2014 would help alleviate their financial burden.

They also gave their opinions and suggestions to the Government’s policies and benefits offered to the people in recent times.

Research assistant Ryanne Phan, 23, hoped the Budget would close the widening income gap between the middle-class and the poor.

“While I do not mind the petrol price hike, I believe the Government should take measures to ensure the price of basic necessities such as sugar, rice and flour remained low.

“Any rise in the prices of such necessities, in addition to inflation, might lead to low-income earners not being able to afford them.

“Besides that, I hope the goods and services tax (GST) will not be implemented as it would only add more burden on the people during such trying times,” she said.

More busses and trains please: With the cost of fuel rising,
young working adults want better public transportation.

Phan was also of the opinion that the Government should discontinue the 1Malaysia Book Vouchers (BB1M) and use the funds to improve rural education instead.

“From my observations, many students misuse the vouchers by exchanging them for cash, buying unnecessary books, spending on junk food and CDs in bookstores and more.

“As such, the Government might as well transfer the help to the rural education sector where it will really make a difference.

“However, the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) for the needy and low-income families should continue but the application process made easier for the illiterate and the elderly,” she added.

Tracy Toon, who is in her 30s, hoped the Government would provide subsidy or rebate on Internet services, as wifi services at home and mobile phone data plan could cost up to RM200 a month.

“This means I have to pay about RM2,400 a month and cumulatively, this is quite a large sum.

Ideas on healthcare: Some of those interviewed believed that
subsidies should be provided for private healthcare to address flaws in
the public healthcare system. 

She said Internet services should be made affordable for all since the Government encouraged its use.

Toon, an entertainment services provider, said there would be an allocation to set up centres with free wifi service for the benefit of the public.

“This would enable everyone, especially students, to have better access to educational websites to enrich their knowledge,” she said.

A food caterer, who only wished to be known as Hafizi, said a fund should be allocated to install traffic countdown timers at traffic lights where Automated Enforcement System cameras were installed.

He said countdown timers would enable drivers to estimate the right time to stop their vehicle.

“Some drivers, who have no intention of running a red light, might not be able to stop before the light turned yellow.

“If they are caught by the camera, they would be issued an AES summon of RM300.

“It is simply unfair and especially taxing for young adults,” he said.

He also said sudden braking would cause tyres and brake pads to wear off.

No warning: Fund should be allocated to install traffic countdown
timers at traffic lights where AES cameras were installed.

Hafizi, 26, said there were no countdown timers at the AES camera-monitored traffic lights on Jalan Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, and Sungai Siput town area.

“However, timers are installed at other traffic lights which does not have the AES cameras.

“What is the rationale of such arrangement?” he questioned.

Mike Chu Chin Hong, 24, said the Government should provide subsidy for private healthcare to address flaws in the public healthcare system.

He said there should also be an increase in the number of medical practitioners in the healthcare sector.

“Many middle-income families are dependent on public hospitals and clinics.

“Due to lack of manpower in the healthcare sector, patients who are desperate for treatment, have to wait for a long time before they are attended to.

“In the end, they might miss the golden opportunity to recover from their illness,” he said.

Chu, who runs Yowa Car Accessories, also opined that the Government should do something to improve human resources management in various sectors.

“The Government should conduct more training courses to improve the quality of the manpower,” he said.

Concurring with Chu, Dr Beh Pith Soh, 26, said the Government should look more into strengthening the vocational schools and better facilitate the engagement between vocational schools and their respective industries.

“This is to create more training and internship positions to better allow the development of skilled labour force, according to the need of our rapidly urbanising country,” he said.

While the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) was a good initiative, Dr Beh opined that it should not be a stand-alone measure.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

“I hope the Government could see how great the impact is on the two different approaches,” he said.

K. Thanesawaran, 28, said the Government must improve the public transportation system to encourage more people to commute in town buses.

He said buses were an important transportation service for people who could not afford to own a car.

“This is especially true for the elderly who rely on buses to get from one place to another,” he said, adding that more routes should be established.

Thanesawaran, a car workshop technician, also opined that the Government should provide assistance to bus companies to upgrade the vehicles.

“People would be more willing to travel in buses if they are in good condition,” he said.

Ideas pour in for Budget

Published: Thursday September 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Thursday September 5, 2013 MYT 8:34:22 AM

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will definitely not be short of ideas on what to include in the 2014 Budget as scores of people have shared their budget wishlist with the Prime Minister.

The main suggestions were on housing, safety and security, transportation, social safety net and welfare of government employees.

Noel Then Yun Sen suggested in Najib’s blog that the Government should take effective measures to reduce deficit to prevent the country from falling into a serious financial crisis.

Another person, Raze, suggested that food production be given a stronger push to ensure sufficient sup­ply and prevent monopoly in the sector.

Suhaimi proposed subsidy for food items such as rice, flour and sugar be enjoyed by citizens only, adding that those who wanted to buy subsidised items must show their identity card to make the purchase.

Andrew Neng Chien Wong suggested the Government abolish subsidy for such items, claiming that although he is an honest trader for such goods, there are some bad hats who cheat to reap higher profit.

Muthukrishnan Murugiah suggested that tax relief of RM3,000 be given every five years for households to install or upgrade CCTV and that the Government implement GST at a low entry level of 1.5% which doesn’t include common food items.

Bashiran Ab­dul Ghani said the 2014 Budget should consider abolishing inc­ome tax for senior citizens aged 60 years and above.

“We are still working bec­ause we still have debts. Please help us. Spare us from (paying) income tax,” he said.

Najib, in his Aug 23 blog posting, said suggestions from the public for the Budget would be submitted to the Finance Ministry for consideration.

The 2014 Budget will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 25.

M'sia needs to do more to alter negative rating outlook

Published: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 7:22:24 AM

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s measures, announced on Monday to lower fiscal subsidies and limit import-intensive investment, did not impress Fitch Ratings enough for it to change its perception of the country.

Fitch Ratings had downgraded Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating outlook in July to “negative” from “stable”, saying that it reflected the rating house’s assessment that prospects for budgetary reform and fiscal consolidation to address weaknesses in public finances had worsened since the Government’s weak showing in May’s general election.

The rating agency said in a statement yesterday that the corrective fiscal measures announced were “too small” to alter the negative outlook.

On Monday, the Government announced that the price of RON95 petrol and diesel had been increased by 20 sen, translating into RM1.1bil of savings from September to December this year and RM3.3bil annually.

Collectively, this RM4.4bil in savings is equivalent to 0.4% of GDP.

This is seen as the first step towards the rationalisation of subsidies by the Government in a bid to reduce the country’s persistent fiscal deficit.

“Sustained reform implementation, if accompanied by structural measures to broaden the revenue base, could make a difference to the sovereign’s credit profile.

“But such an intensification of reforms that can also withstand potential growth headwinds is not on the cards at present,” said Fitch Ratings.

Maybank Investment Bank Research pointed out that the continuing BR1M, or the1Malaysia People’s Aid, could possibly dilute the fiscal deficit impact and eat up fuel subsidy savings.

To ease the burden on low-income and vulnerable groups in the fuel subsidy rationalisation, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the quantum for the BR1M would be increased in Budget 2014.

“While the total savings in fuel subsidies appear positive, bear in mind that there is also the cost of continuing the BR1M, which is expected to be funded from savings on subsidies,” said Maybank.

In its report, Maybank said subsidy rationalisation details, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by 2015 as well as a potential third round of hikes in the real property gains tax (RPGT) could be announced in the upcoming Budget 2014 as part of the Government’s plan to address the fiscal deficit issue.

It also noted that “eyes” would be on Government land development projects in view of the worsening macroeconomic balance.

The Government’s target is to reduce the country’s budget deficit to 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and 3% in 2015. In 2012, it stood at 4.5% of GDP.

Meanwhile, another economist has suggested that the Government draw up a timeline of action in order to execute its fiscal consolidation measures while conducting a review of its expenditure.

CIMB Research chief economist Lee Heng Guie said in a note to clients that a timeline of action was necessary to assure investors that the Government had the political resolve to address the country’s fiscal issues “without delay”.

While the (fiscal consolidation) measures were commendable, a senior economist questioned why is it that the Government was only addressing the issue after Fitch Ratings had downgraded Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating.

“Why did we not bite the bullet two years ago? We should have addressed this issue earlier to avoid getting to this stage.”

CIMB’s Lee called for a fundamental review to “weed out” the country’s non-developmental, low-priority and unproductive expenditure, while focusing on growth-oriented spending.

He added that more cost-saving initiatives, including a critical review and reform of the procurement system to combat wastages and leakages, must be implemented.

In its statement, Fitch Ratings said the timing of Monday’s announcement seemed responsive to heightened global market volatility brought on by impending tapering by the Federal Reserve and greater investor scrutiny of vulnerabilities in emerging markets.

“A more calibrated pace of public investment prioritising non-import-intensive projects should limit the risk of near-term fiscal overruns as well as lower the likelihood of the current account slipping into a deficit.

“We estimate that Malaysia’s current account surplus would fall – sharply – to 3% of GDP this year after averaging 11% over 2009-2012.”

It opined that effective fiscal consolidation in the next 12 months would “by no means” be easy.

“First, the Malaysian economy is undergoing a terms-of-trade shock, with the prices of key commodity exports falling sharply.

“In this environment, expenditure restraint could raise downside risks to our GDP growth forecasts of around 5%, year-on-year, in 2013-2014.”

Fitch Ratings said if this were to materialise, then slowing growth could also lower tax receipts, making it that much more difficult to achieve the medium-term Government deficit target of 3% of GDP by 2015.

It also noted that the political position of the ruling coalition had weakened following the May election, meaning that the Government was likely to continue encountering difficulties in implementing “far-reaching and much delayed” revenue-enhancing reforms such as the GST.

Fuel price hike: 20 sen increase will burden the people, say groups

Published: Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 9:02:00 PM 
Updated: Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 10:18:38 PM

Motorists wait for their turn to fill up their tanks at a petrol station in Kajang.
PETALING JAYA: Various groups have slammed the government’s decision to increase the price of RON 95 petrol and diesel by 20 sen, saying the move would effect the lower-income groups.

Fomca president Datuk Marimuthu Nadeson said the government should be improving public transport nationwide if it wanted to hike fuel prices, adding that this would result in a chain reaction.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier announced that the price for RON95 petrol and diesel would be raised by 20 sen per litre from midnight.

Chief activist of the Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), Datuk Nazim Johan, said although the increase was inevitable, the government should plug the leakages in the system before placing the burden on consumers.

“Now, even millionaires with 30 cars in their garage get subsidies,” he said, adding that those who wanted the subsidies should apply for them.

He suggested a system similar to the Welfare Department which gives allowances to those in need.

PSM secretary-general S. Arutchelvan said the government had gone against its word of not increasing the price of RON95 petrol.

“This increase will cause further hardship to the people especially the lower-income group,” he said pointing out that the minimum wage had not been properly implemented.

He believed that the government would implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) soon, causing more inflation.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said he expected that inflation would creep in over the coming months.

He said that the relationship between oil prices and inflation was prevalent in economies such as Malaysia.“The people rely heavily on subsidies, especially fuel subsidies,” he said, adding that the government should have informed the people in advance of the price hike.

Petrol, diesel price increase to be followed by GST, warns Bandar Kuching MP

Published: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 3:40:04 PM

KUCHING: The petrol and diesel price hike announced two days ago has been described as “the first phase of how Malaysians would be helping the Barisan Nasional government pay the country’s burgeoning debts”.

Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen said despite earlier warnings by several international rating agencies that the country’s rating would be downgraded should it continue its election spending spree, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not take heed of the call and continued to spend unnecessarily to ensure his victory in the general election.

“The price hike is the result of the uncontrolled spending by the Barisan government for the general election this year.

“For instance, the Government had spent excessively for the Barisan’s advertisement which cost RM500mil and the Bantuan Rakyat Satu Malaysia (BR1M).

“Najib has said the reason for the price hike is to stabilise the economy, and my question is: why is the economy in unstable?

“This is because the Government has incurred so much debt due to its overspending.

“And who incurred this? It is the Barisan who has overspent,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Najib announced two days ago that the price of RON95 petrol and diesel would be increased by 20 sen as one of the measures to rationalise subsidies by the Government to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit.

Chong anticipated that the Government would soon introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which he described as “the second phase” for Malaysians to pay off the debt.

“It will be introduced next year as the Treasury Department is pushing for GST to be implemented next year.

“It will be presented in the coming Budget in October,” he said.

Petrol price increase will affect urban poor

Published: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 10:29:15 AM

THE 20-sen rise in the price of RON95 may save the Government money, but the rise in the people’s salary is not in tandem with the cost of living. The urban poor will be the most affected.

I hope unscrupulous people will not take advantage of this price rise to hike up prices in other areas.

The Government should overturn any negative perception of the petrol price rise by ensuring that the money saved will be used wisely to build more roads and affordable homes.

While the effect will be felt most strongly in the short and medium-term by the lower and middle-income groups, the people must learn to make immediate adjustments in the way they manage their expenses.

The price rise is a structural fiscal adjustment and will pave the way for the next radical and predictable step to implement the GST in 2014.

We should view the RON95 price rise in a positive light.

Our RON95 subsidy level is one of the world’s highest. Any rise in revenue, by cutting the subsidy, is supposed to be channelled to programmes for the poor. So why groan? Isn’t this what any responsible government should be doing?

Kuala Lumpur

Fitch welcomes fuel subsidy cut, warns more is needed

Published: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 5:32:00 PM 
Updated: Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 5:34:56 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Fitch Ratings welcomed the Malaysian Government’s move cut back on fuel subsidy and rein in import-intensive projects but warned that more needed to be done to address the country’s deteriorating public finances.

The ratings agency said the measures announced on Monday were “credit-neutral” over the near term as they were consistent with its fiscal projections, which had already factored in a net 1ppt of GDP reduction in government expenditure in its fiscal projections for the period to 2015,

“The fundamental driver of the narrowing current account surplus has been the widening public sector deficit, drawing attention to the health of medium-term public finances,” it said.

However, it cautioned that effective fiscal consolidation in the next 12 months would by no means be easy.

“First, the Malaysian economy is undergoing a terms-of-trade shock, with the prices of key commodity exports falling sharply. In this environment, expenditure restraint could raise downside risks to our GDP growth forecasts of around 5%, year-on-year, in 2013-2014.

“If this were to materialise, slowing growth could also lower tax receipts, making it that much more difficult to achieve the medium-term government deficit target of 3% of GDP by 2015.

It added that a second reason the road ahead would be difficult was that politically the government would likely face difficulties in implementing far-reaching, and much delayed, revenue-enhancing reforms such as the Goods & Services Tax (GST).

“The upshot is that the corrective fiscal measures, announced yesterday, are too small to alter the Negative Outlook on Malaysia's 'A-' sovereign rating. Sustained reform implementation, if accompanied by structural measures to broaden the revenue base, could make a difference to the sovereign's credit profile.

“But such an intensification of reforms that can also withstand potential growth headwinds, is not on the cards at present,” Fitch Ratings said.

Probably not the best time for Goods and Services Tax

Published: Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 7:12:34 AM


OIL prices may spike up to US$150 (RM493) per barrel, The Economic Times of India reports, quoting an analyst from Societe Generale.

In view of the serious situation in Syria, the North Sea crude oil benchmark could surge to as high as US$150 per barrel if the war affects key oil producers such as Iraq, although any jump in prices would probably be brief.

In its base case, Societe Generale assumes an attack would begin this week.

“If it takes longer, and there are no signals that an attack is imminent, the oil price uplift from the entire Syrian situation will start to fade,” oil analyst Michael Wittner is quoted as saying.

Countries like Malaysia will be watching avidly for the changes in oil price. Any uplift in oil prices benefits its national oil corporation Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

However, higher oil prices result in higher costs to consumers, especially transportation costs. That has a spiral effect on other costs.

Malaysia has successfully kept inflation low and higher oil prices will pose a challenge to that.

Will we be seeing a return of subsidies on essential items?

To rein in the fiscal deficit, the Government is keen to impose the goods and services tax (GST) in the coming budget. In view of the uncertainty over oil prices, it may not be advisable to impose the GST as yet, as it may induce further strains on the cost of living.

It is tiresome to keep talking about imposing the GST but the picture must be viewed in totality.

It is not just investors pulling out of emerging markets.

Investors in funds based in the United States pulled roughly US$9.4bil (RM30.90bil) out of stock funds in the latest week, marking the biggest outflow from these funds since July 2012, says Reuters, quoting recent data.

Funds that hold European stocks attracted US$1.08bil in new cash, however, marking the biggest inflow to the funds in 10 weeks, the agency says.

Investors have settled on the idea that European stocks’ “worst days are behind them”, says Reuters, quoting Jeff Tjornehoj, head of Americas research at Lipper, in reference to signs that the eurozone debt crisis had improved.

Data on Aug 14 showed that the economies of Germany and France grew more quickly than expected in the second quarter, pulling the eurozone out of a 1½-year recession, says Reuters.

Funds will flow to places deemed to produce the highest potential returns, which in this case, is Europe. The funds will flow back to emerging markets once they are deemed to be more stable.

JP Morgan Chase, the largest investment bank in the United States, has been attracting a string of regulatory transgressions lately.

So much so that it has been told to improve on its relationship with regulators.

Two federal regulators are preparing a series of enforcement actions and fines against JP Morgan, stemming from its dealings with consumers during the recession, says the International Herald Tribune (IHT).

Reflecting just one element of a broader federal crackdown on JP Morgan, it is accused of duping credit card customers by selling them identity theft-related products with false promises.

The fines are expected to be US$80mil (US$20mil for the consumer bureau and the rest by the comptroller’s office).

The bank is also in the spotlight for a series of questionable debt collection practices.

Recently, JP Morgan came under investigation in China relating to its hiring practices, whether it had hired children of well-connected families to get contracts.

On top of that, two former employees were arrested in connection to the US$6.2bil trading losses being dubbed the “London Whale”.

Beyond the trading losses, JP Morgan is grappling with civil and criminal investigations in California related to the bank’s mortgage business during the financial crisis, says the IHT.

In the quarterly filing this month, JP Morgan said the civil division of the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California was investigating whether the bank had sold shoddy mortgage securities to investors.

Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive, has apologised for letting “our regulators down” and has vowed to “do all the work necessary to complete the needed improvements,” says the IHT.

Dimon had spoken out against the regulators, saying they were too “overwhelmed”. He had also spoken on the important role played by banks in the economy.

When the “London Whale” trading losses came to light, he had initially tried to brush it aside.

It looks like he now has to eat humble pie and consent to all the regulators’ demands.

Columnist Yap Leng Kuen is concerned over the stand-off in Syria.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

KPRU: Biar PETRONAS Lapor Kepada Parlimen Sebelum Laksana GST

Thursday, 05 September 2013 admin-s 
Langkah ini bukan sahaja penting bagi mempertahankan kepentingan PETRONAS daripada terus dicekik oleh kerajaan dan terpaksa menyerahkan keuntungannya kepada kerajaan tanpa ketelusan, malah ia dapat menjawab persoalan mengapa harga petrol tidak diturunkan apabila harga minyak mentah pasaran antarabangsa mencatatkan penurunan.
Pada 27 Ogos 2013 lalu, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) mengumumkan bayaran dividen sejumlah RM27 bilion kepada kerajaan pada 2013, iaitu berkurang 3 bilion berbanding dengan RM30 bilion yang disumbangkan pada tahun lepas.[1] Ini bermakna, pendapatan kerajaan akan menurun memandangkan PETRONAS yang merupakan penyumbang terbesar kepada sumber pendapatan kerajaan mengurangkan sumbangan dividennya.
Pada 2 September, Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Kewangan, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak membuat “pengumuman gempar” bahawa harga diesel dan minyak petrol RON95 dinaikkan sebanyak 20 sen seliter mulai tengah malam hari tersebut. Pengumuman tersebut mengejutkan rakyat Malaysia daripada kemeriahan suasana sambutan Hari Kemerdekaan. Menurut Najib, ini merupakan salah satu langkah rasionalisasi atau penyusunan semula subsidi yang dilaksanakan secara berperingkat oleh kerajaannya. Ia juga merupakan salah satu insiatif menuju ke arah mengukuhkan kedudukan kewangan negara dalam menghadapi persekitaran ekonomi dunia yang mencabar.[2]
Kedua-dua pengumuman tersebut dibuat secara berasingan dan kelihatan tidak berkaitan; pengamatan badan pemikir, Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) pula mendapati keadaan yang sebaliknya. KPRU berpendapat, dalam keadaan ekonomi dunia yang tidak menentu, tambahan pula dengan penurunan pendapatan kerajaan, penurunan eksport negara, kejatuhan nilai mata wang negara dan fiscal defisit yang masih berada dalam kedudukan yang tinggi, serta pertumbuhan ekonomi negara yang gagal mencapai sasaran, pemotongan subsidi minyak ini yang menimbulkan keresahan bercampur dengan kemarahan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia merupakan salah satu langkah bagi mengurangkan perbelanjaan kerajaan di samping mengganti balik pendapatan kerajaan yang berkurangan, memandangkan Presiden PETRONAS, Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas sebelum ini pernah mengumumkan bahawa PETRONAS berhasrat menetapkan nisbah pembayaran dividen pada paras 30 peratus, di mana jumlah dividen yang diisytiharkan akan berubah-ubah mengikut pendapatannya.[3]Penting sekali, kenaikan harga minyak ekoran penstrukturan semula subsidi ini bakal diikuti dengan pelaksanaan Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST).
Maka, KPRU ingin mencadangkan, sebelum kerajaan Najib dengan tegasnya membawa GST ke Parlimen semasa pembentangan Belanjawan Negara 2014, kerajaan seharusnya pertama sekali meminda Akta Pembangunan Petroleum 1974 apabila Dewan Rakyat kembali bersidang pada 23 September ini, supaya PETRONAS bertanggungjawab kepada Parlimen, bukan sekadarnya bertanggungjawab kepada Perdana Menteri bagi menjamin ketelusan atau transparensi dalam tadbir urus kedua-dua kewangan PETRONAS dan kewangan negara.
Langkah ini bukan sahaja penting bagi mempertahankan kepentingan PETRONAS daripada terus dicekik oleh kerajaan dan terpaksa menyerahkan keuntungannya kepada kerajaan tanpa ketelusan, malah ia dapat menjawab persoalan mengapa harga petrol tidak diturunkan apabila harga minyak mentah pasaran antarabangsa mencatatkan penurunan. Khususnya, dengan mengambil kira kenyataan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dalam majlis perasmian Seminar Minyak dan Gas Asia 2013 (AOGC) Pusat Konvensyen Kuala Lumpur pada 10 Jun bahawa industri minyak dan gas menyumbang lebih 40 peratus kepada pendapatan negara ini. Menurut beliau, kerajaan turut menjangka PETRONAS akan menjana RM131.4 bilion kepada Pendapatan Negara Kasar (PNK).[4]
Seperti yang ditunjukkan dalam Jadual KPRU, PETRONAS merupakan pembayar cukai yang terbesar dan sumber hasil terbesar, di mana sumbangannya mencakupi sekurang-kurangnya 30 peratus daripada hasil kerajaan persekutuan.
Jadual KPRU: Hasil Kerajaan Persekutuan daripada Sumber Petroleum 2009-2013
TahunJumlah Sumbangan Hasil daripada Sumber Petroleum (RM Juta)Hasil Kerajaan Persekutuan (RM Juta)Jumlah Sumbangan Petroleum sebagai Peratus Hasil Kerajaan (%)
Hak cipta © KPRU 2013
Nota: -
2009-2011: penerimaan sebenar
2012: anggaran disemak
2013: anggaran belanjawan
Sumber: Memorandum Perbendaharaan mengenai Anggaran Hasil Kerajaan Persekutuan
Sejak perbadanannya pada tahun 1974, PETRONAS sentiasa dijadikan sebagai “kantung peribadi” kerajaan dan dananya disalurkan bagi menanggung pembiayaan projek-projek kesayangan pihak kerajaan. Sebagai syarikat minyak negara, memang dalam jangkaan PETRONAS mengisytiharkan sebahagian besar keuntungannya kepada kerajaan. Bagi tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Mac 2011, hampir 55 peratus daripada keuntungan bersih PETRONAS telah dibayar sebagai dividen kepada kerajaan, nisbah peratusan ini jauh melebihi purata 38 peratus yang dibayar oleh syarikar-syarikat minyak nasional di seluruh dunia![5]
Namun, butiran-butiran tentang bagaimana hasil yang disumbang itu dibelanja dan digunakan oleh kerajaan tidak ditunjukkan dalam akaun rasmi  atau didedahkan. Berikutan itu, KPRU berpendapat, PETRONAS harus bertanggungjawab kepada Parlimen dan tidak lagi disembunyikan daripada tatapan wakil rakyat, biarpun rakyat Malaysia.
Perbandingan syarikat minyak milik kerajaan luar negara dengan Malaysia
KPRU telah membuat kajian terhadap syarikat-syarikat petroleum nasional di luar negara dan mendapati bahawa syarikat berkenaan seperti Statoil di Norway, Pemex di Mexico, Petrobras di Brazil , dan Pertamina di Indonesia adalah tertakluk di bawah kuasa kementerian berkaitan, bukannya di tangan Perdana Menteri atau Presiden. Statoil di Norway dan Pemex di Mexico masing-masingnya diwajibkan mendapat kelulusan di Parlimen dalam hal pembukaan kawasan baru untuk penerokaan atau membuka sektor tenaga untuk pelaburan swasta. Di Brazil, Petrobras bukan sahaja bertanggungjawab kepada Menteri dan Kongress Kebangsaan, ia juga diwajibkan memberi maklumat kepada Mahkamah Audit Persekutuan. Tambahan pula, bagi menjamin ketelusan dalam pengurusan dan pentadbiran, Petrobras menubuhkan Citizen Information Service (CIS) untuk memberi maklumbalas dan panduan kepada masyarakat awam untuk mengakses kepada maklumat.
Secara perbandingan, PETRONAS di Malaysia hanya perlu melapor terus kepada Perdana Menteri dan beliau diberi kuasa sepenuh untuk meneliti akaun dan keadaan semasa kewangan PETRONAS. Peruntukan dalam Akta Kemajuan Petroleum 1974 ini menyebabkan rakyat Malaysia tidak berpeluang memantau penggunaan kewangan PETRONAS yang diperolehi daripada kekayaan sumber asli negara ini. Di samping itu, keputusan dalam hal seperti pengendalian penggunaan petroleum hanya perlu mendapatkan kebenaran Perdana Menteri dan bukannya dibahas dan diluluskan di Parlimen.

Bajet 2014: Penarafan kredit, TPPA, KDNK

ARKIB : 04/09/2013

Oleh Abdussalam Shokhawi
PENULIS ialah Ketua Jabatan GST dan Pengurus Projek GST di SALIHIN GST Services Sdn. Bhd.

MENURUT perancangan kerajaan, pembentangan Bajet 2014 akan dibuat pada 25 Oktober 2013 di Dewan Rakyat. Bajet pasca Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (PRU13) ini akan menjadi perhatian semua pihak yang ingin melihat buah tangan pertama daripada kerajaan di bawah kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak kepada rakyat bagi penggal baharu lima tahun yang diperbaharui pada Mei 2013 lalu.

Bagi kebanyakan pemerhati ekonomi dan politik, adalah tidak sukar untuk menelah apa yang bakal menjadi perhatian kerajaan kerana indikasi mengenainya telah pun dinyatakan dalam Manifesto Barisan Nasional pada pilihan raya umum yang lalu. Namun begitu, perincian terhadap isi kandung bajet ini masih lagi menjadi aspek kejutan dan tetap dinanti-nantikan.

Seperti kebiasaan, bajet nasional ini perlu mengimbangi pelbagai perkara penting yang membebani kerajaan, daripada isu keperluan rakyat terbanyak, isu alam sekitar, isu keselamatan dalam dan luar negara, isu pendidikan, isu pembangunan ekonomi, isu percukaian dan banyak lagi.

Bagi isu pembangunan ekonomi, antara perkara terbesar yang perlu diberi perhatian kali ini adalah untuk memperlihatkan inisiatif-inisiatif hala tuju ekonomi yang mampan bagi mengukuhkan kedudukan fiskal dan makro ekonomi negara. Kerajaan perlu membuktikan komitmennya untuk menstabilkan situasi kredit negara serta menunjukkan prospek pelaksanaan pembaharuan bajet negara adalah tidak suram seperti yang ditakrifkan oleh agensi penarafan global, Fitch Ratings pada Julai 2013.

Dalam hal ini, kerajaan harus memperkasakan pentadbiran dan pengurusan sistem kewangan negara agar keyakinan pelbagai pihak yang mempunyai kepentingan di dalam sistem ekonomi negara termasuklah pelabur, bakal pelabur, pemiutang dan penghutang akan dapat dipertingkatkan.

Usaha tekun perlu digembleng untuk mengembalikan bajet berimbang serta menghasilkan petunjuk positif ekonomi seperti pengukuhan Ringgit berbanding mata wang utama dunia, peningkatan jumlah dagangan, pengurangan kredit, peningkatan eksport dan sebagainya.

Perkara ini bukan mudah untuk dilakukan kerana penurunan ramalan (outlook) penarafan kredit Malaysia daripada stabil kepada negatif yang dibuat oleh Fitch Ratings telah memberikan impak yang besar terhadap situasi pasaran seperti kejatuhan pasaran saham di Bursa Malaysia dan pengucupan nilai Ringgit berbanding Dolar Amerika. Kesan pasaran ini juga adalah kesan berganda dan perlu ditangani segera dengan bijaksana oleh kerajaan untuk mengelak bencana kemelesetan ekonomi berulang lagi.

Selain isu penarafan Fitch Ratings, Bajet 2014 turut dijangka akan memperkatakan mengenai perkembangan rundingan Perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik atau TPPA yang melibatkan 12 buah negara iaitu Amerika Syarikat (AS), Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Kanada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapura, Vietnam dan Jepun.

Pelbagai pihak telah menyatakan kerisauan mengenai isi kandung serta keseimbangan perjanjian perdagangan ini kerana faktor pengaruh negara kuasa besar yang diketuai oleh AS. Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dalam kenyataan kritikalnya mengenai TPPA telah membangkitkan isu-isu ketelusan kerajaan dalam rundingan perjanjian tersebut serta melahirkan kebimbangan yang serius bahawa Malaysia bakal terdedah kepada risiko perjanjian berat sebelah terutamanya dalam memenuhi agenda tersirat AS terhadap negara kecil yang makmur seperti Malaysia.

TPPA sebenarnya adalah satu bentuk perjanjian bebas untuk menggalakkan kegiatan perdagangan dan pelaburan merentas sempadan di antara negara-negara yang menandatanganinya. TPPA menyediakan pelbagai manfaat pasaran yang memungkinkan syarikat-syarikat tempatan untuk berpeluang meneroka pasaran antarabangsa, memindahkan teknologi dan berkongsi ilmu pengetahuan.

Dalam hal lain, Bajet 2014 turut dijangka menjadi medium perbahasan mengenai pengumuman Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yang baru-baru ini telah menyemak semula unjuran pertumbuhan Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK) daripada antara 5 peratus dan 6 peratus kepada antara 4.5 peratus dan 5 peratus.

Menurut kenyataan BNM, KDNK 2013 Malaysia telah disemak semula berikutan situasi ketidaktentuan yang belarutan dalam ekonomi global. Aktiviti eksport dalam separuh pertama tahun 2013 telah mencatatkan pertumbuhan yang negatif berikutan faktor persekitaran luar yang lemah dan ini amat memberikan kesan terhadap prestasi KDNK keseluruhannya.

Hakikatnya, di sebalik ketidaktentuan ekonomi global, KDNK Malaysia masih mampu mencatatkan pertumbuhan pada kadar 4.3 peratus pada suku kedua tahun 2013 berbanding 4.1 peratus pada suku pertama. Statistik ini telah disumbangkan oleh kekukuhan asas ekonomi domestik yang merangsang teguh daya tahan ekonomi Malaysia. Jika dihurai secara menyeluruh, aktiviti sektor swasta telah menjadi faktor utama yang mendorong kepada perkembangan positif KDNK negara bagi separuh pertama 2013.

Tahukah anda bahawa situasi ekonomi di Malaysia sebenarnya telah dipantau secara dekat oleh pelbagai pihak yang berkepentingan sama ada di dalam dan luar negara? Mereka yang memantau termasuklah Tabung Kewangan Antarabangsa (IMF), Kesatuan Eropah, ahli-ahli politik Barat, para pelabur asing yang berpotensi, negara-negara serantau serta spekulator-spekulator ekonomi yang sentiasa mencari ruang kelemahan untuk mengaut keuntungan atas kelalaian negara kita.

Beberapa pihak yang sedang memantau ini telah berusaha keras untuk mengubah landskap kehidupan masyarakat dunia dengan cogan kata "untuk menjadikan dunia ini tempat yang lebih baik". Mereka mencipta teknologi, mewujudkan persaingan dan menggubah polisi-polisi tingkah laku mengikut acuan mereka sendiri dan menjadikan pihak yang menolak order baru mereka sebagai menolak kemajuan dan minda tertutup.

Bukanlah sesuatu yang ganjil apabila Fitch Ratings menurunkan penarafan terhadap unjuran kredit Malaysia dengan tafsiran bahawa pengurusan kewangan Malaysia sedang melalui fasa yang lemah selepas Mei 2013 dan terdedah kepada sebarang kejutan ekonomi.

Pengumuman Fitch Ratings dibuat ketika AS memperlihatkan tekanan kepada Malaysia agar TPPA segera dimuktamadkan. Para pelabur asing pula menunjukkan reaksi dingin terhadap pasaran sehingga mengakibatkan mata dagangan Bursa Malaysia dan mata wang negara mengucup dengan agak ketara. Ini memaksa statistik ekonomi Malaysia dipotretkan sebagai tidak memberangsangkan, walaupun pada hakikatnya asas ekonomi domestik kekal kukuh.

Semua tindak-tanduk ini telah mendedahkan sikap membuli negara-negara kuasa besar ekonomi yang menginginkan Malaysia menari mengikut tempo yang ditetapkan oleh mereka. Matlamat utama negara-negara ini adalah untuk menguasai pasaran supaya ekonomi mereka sendiri akan terlindung dan stabil. Malaysia ditekan dengan pelbagai cara supaya tunduk kepada kemahuan mereka dan membuka pasaran secara bebas.

Secara realistiknya, ekonomi Malaysia masih berada dalam landasan yang teguh kerana dipacu oleh aktiviti dalam pasaran domestik yang berdaya tahan. Namun begitu, untuk Malaysia bergerak kehadapan dalam situasi ekonomi global yang dikawal (walaupun Barat selalu mengatakan bahawa pasaran sepatutnya bebas), penyesuaian yang signifikan wajar dilakukan untuk mengimbangi segala tindak balas persekitaran global.

Ekonomi Malaysia tidak selamanya mampu bertahan dengan kapasiti domestik kerana pada akhirnya yang menerima bebanan adalah pelabur tempatan dan rakyat. Sifat globalisasi tidak memungkinkan ekonomi Malaysia mampu menyerap ancaman luaran yang berterusan mendesak. Malaysia perlu menggunakan strategi menyerang atau berkawan berbanding memilih untuk bertahan sahaja.

Untuk itu, Malaysia perlu pantas membuat transformasi melalui caranya sendiri serta berani mengambil risiko untuk mengelakkan daripada dipandang rendah oleh negara-negara kuasa besar. Malaysia pernah melakukannya dua kali dengan membuat transformasi melawan arus untuk keluar daripada krisis ekonomi pada tahun 1987 dan 1997. Kejayaan ini telah memberikan makna besar kepada Malaysia sehinggakan dunia menjadi kelu dan terpaksa mengiktiraf apa yang dilakukan sebagai sesuatu yang sangat hebat (walaupun mengambil masa yang lama untuk mengiktiraf).

© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd 

SME Budget 2014 wish list: GST, income tax & more

Published: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 6:08:00 PM 
Updated: Wednesday September 4, 2013 MYT 6:18:01 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should clarify in the upcoming budget when the Goods and Services Tax will be implemented to end uncertainties in the market, said tax consultant Lam Kwai Soon of accountancy firm, Cheng & Co.

According to Lam, a proper outline would help to avoid speculations, including questions on whether the income tax rates would be reduced after the GST’s implementation, and by how much.

“All this has created a lot of uncertainty and rumours in the market,” he said as he outlined some of the things that small and medium enterprises hoped to see included in this year’s budget presentation.

With clear timelines, businesses would be able to prepare and this would be good for long-term development, Lam stated.

He said a reduction in the corporate income tax rate would also be welcome.

“The government should also adopt more lenient approaches in terms of tax deductions or capital allowances on certain costs such as renovations or office costs, or professional fees in obtaining finance,” Lam added.

He lauded the SME Master Plan 2012-2020 launched last year, saying it was a good plan because it accurately identified the challenges of the SMEs (including innovation and technology, human capital, access to financing, regulatory environment), and established goals and targets.

“The impact and outcome of the initiatives are yet to be known, but the implementation stage is crucial for success,” he said.

Lam said other areas of concern regarding the economy included the drop in consumer confidence index, inflationary pressures and the budget deficit, with Malaysia’s debt levels almost hitting the ceiling of 55% of GDP.

“The Government should not just focus on widening its income base, such as implementing GST; there must be a look into cost controls. It is also important that the efficiency and effectiveness of our government organisation are enhanced and improved.

“Only then do I think the deficit can be reduced,” he stressed.

Lam said following the 13th General Election, political uncertainty had been dispelled and the Government could continue its efforts towards making Malaysia a high-income nation.

However, he said, the Government should also look at the equitability in the distribution of wealth in the country.

“It will be more meaningful if we can achieve the vision of a high-income nation, and at the same time ensure that a great number of people can enjoy the distribution of wealth more equally,” he said.

`Money saved will also go to public transport projects'

Publication: NST
Date of publication: Sep 4, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 004

PETALING JAYA: The government will announce measures to ease the burden of the middle-income group in the 2014 Budget.

"We are studying all aspects and it can be in any form of assistance," Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said yesterday, adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would announce the measures on Oct 25.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said the government could save RM3.3 billion a year by reducing the fuel subsidy.

He said some of the money saved would be pumped into the 1Malaysia People Aid (BR1M).

The balance, he said, would be invested in infrastructure projects, such as the Mass Rapid Transit system, to upgrade the public transport.

"Instead of subsidising the entire population, it is better if we make the subsidies more targeted and given to the people who are more deserving," Wahid said after the launch of an Ekuinas Nasional Bhd event yesterday.

Wahid said the 20 sen per litre increase of RON95 and diesel prices were "reasonable and within the context of the subsidy we are providing, and the savings required to manage our fiscal deficit".

Last year, the country's fiscal deficit was 4.7 per cent of the gross domestic product and the target was to reduce it to three per cent by 2015, he said.

"The global economic environment has changed from what it was last year where there was a lot of optimism with the continued quantitative easing.

"But this year, with the announcement of the reversal of the quantitative measures, we are seeing a reversal of the flow from the emerging markets back to the developed markets."

Wahid said the country's inflation rate was expected to be around 2.3 per cent this year after the fuel price hike.

He said until July, the inflation rate was two per cent and was the lowest in the region.

Wahid added that the consumer price index last year averaged by 1.6 per cent, compared with 3.2 per cent in 2011.

"The government had been expecting it to be between two and 2.5 per cent this year."

He pointed out that the country's current account surplus dropped to RM2.6 billion in the second quarter from RM8.7 billion early this year, while export of crude palm oil last year had gone down by 17.5 per cent last year.

"All this has led to a contraction in our trade surplus and it is very important for the government to address these issues."

On the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), which would replace the current sales and service tax, Wahid said when implemented, there would be items that would be exempted.

"Typically, whenever countries implement the GST, there would always be exempted items as well as zero-rated items.

"We will make sure the impact to the people is manageable."

Waiting For GST


GST Malaysia - Goods & Services Tax

There’s a famous play by Samuel Beckett called “Waiting for Godot”, where two characters hang around, talking and interacting, waiting for someone who never turns up. Malaysia’s GST saga, by turns tragic and comedic, definitely falls into the same mould.

Now it seems that at long last, Godot might actually arrive (excerpt):


KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of a goods and services tax (GST) is a must and not an option.

Secretary-General of Treasury Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said at the half-year Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) update that the Government was trying its best to include it in Budget 2014 if everyone was agreeable to it.

Dr Mohd Irwan added that it would only be in place in 2015 if the Government announced it in the coming budget as it would take 14 months for the GST to be implemented.


Most of the opposition to GST is misplaced or misinformed, mostly because few realise how much tax they are already paying out under the current sales and service tax regime.

Will there be an increase in prices? It depends on the rate set, but generally speaking, the increase in prices will be only a one time affair, and will be a lot milder than people think. You might also be surprised to find quite a few prices dropping as well.

Will the tax burden be heavier? Yes it will, mainly due to a greater number of goods and services falling within the tax net. But the burden of taxation will be heaviest on higher income households, and again, the increase in taxation even for low income households will be comparatively mild.

Let’s get it over with, for crying out loud.

Market lauds fuel subsidy rationalisation

Publication: NST
Date of publication: Sep 4, 2013
Section heading: Business Times
Page number: 002
Byline / Author: By Rupa Damodaran

KUALA LUMPUR: The government's fuel subsidy rationalisation was widely welcomed by the market, which now expects the goods and services tax (GST) to be announced during the tabling of the 2014 Budget next month.

Economists are confident that Malaysia will achieve its fiscal budget target of four per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year with the flow of revenue, especially after the fuel subsidy cut which will result in savings of RM1.1 billion for this year and RM3.3 billion for 2014.

CIMB Investment Bank, however, said the government must draw up a timeline of actions to execute the fiscal consolidation measures.

"This is to assure investors that it has the political resolve to address the country's fiscal issues without delay," said chief economist Lee Heng Guie.

"Faced with the risk of a sovereign ratings downgrade and investors' focus on the domestic and external sectors' vulnerabilities at a time of a retrenchment of foreign capital, it is crucial that Malaysia fine-tunes its macroeconomic policy mix for growth and financial stability over the medium term."

Dr Chua Hak Bin of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said although the government's move will save it billions, the impact on the fiscal deficit is quite small, thus requiring further measures.

Chua estimated the fiscal deficit came in at RM19.4 billion, or 4.1 per cent of GDP, in the first half of 2013, based on available monthly data.

The government had allocated RM24.8 billion for fuel subsidies this year, an amount that would probably have been easily breached without a fuel price hike.

Lower crude oil prices in the early part of the year, added Chua, have kept fuel subsidy costs in check, but global oil prices have been rising of late.

"The fuel price hike should also curb rising oil imports, and improve the oil-trade and current account balances," he added.

The oil-trade deficit had worsened to RM2.7 billion in the second quarter, contributing to the worsening of the current account surplus to RM2.6 billion during the period, making it the smallest surplus since the Asian financial crisis.

Credit Suisse said the move is good for the ringgit in the near term, with risks of the US dollar versus ringgit trading lower than the three-month forecast of RM 3.3.

"However, the large foreign investors' holding of government bonds (47 per cent) and central bank bills (84 per cent) will continue to be an overhang on the ringgit in the medium term, especially with the risk of US Fed tapering in September."

Malaysia duduki tempat ke-24 dalam GCR

2013/09/04 - 07:41:22 AM

MALAYSIA terus memperbaiki kedudukannya sebagai negara paling berdaya saing di dunia apabila World Economic Forum (WEF) menyenaraikan negara ini di kedudukan ke-24 daripada 148 negara dalam Laporan Daya Saing Global (GCR) 2013-2014 daripada ke-25 sebelum ini. 

Kedudukan negara ini turut meningkat satu anak tangga ke tempat ketujuh dalam kalangan 25 negara di Asia Pasifik dan mengekalkan kedudukan di tempat kedua sebagai negara paling berdaya saing di ASEAN. 

Sesuatu yang turut memberangsangkan ialah Malaysia disenaraikan dalam kalangan 10 negara paling berdaya saing dari segi inovasi serta kekukuhan rangka kerja institusi. 

Kajian WEF, sebuah organisasi yang berpangkalan di Switzerland itu meletakkan negara ini di kedudukan teratas dalam kalangan 22 negara yang berada dalam kategori negara yang berada dalam tahap peralihan daripada ekonomi yang berasaskan kecekapan kepada yang dipacu inovasi, dengan peningkatan Keluaran Dalam Negara Kasar (KDNK) perkapita kepada AS$10,304 (kira-kira RM33,864) tahun lalu berbanding AS$9,700 (kira-kira RM31,879) tahun sebelumnya. 

Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri (MITI), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, berkata mengikut penilaian WEF, kekuatan Malaysia yang paling ketara adalah pasaran barangan dan perkhidmatannya yang cekap dan berdaya saing, pasaran kewangan yang kukuh, dan kerangka institusi yang mesra perniagaan. 

Katanya, prestasi itu disokong oleh beberapa penanda aras termasuk jumlah prosedur memulakan perniagaan yang mana Malaysia kini berada pada kedudukan ke-10 serta lonjakan dalam kedudukan kadar cukai keseluruhan sebanyak 30 anak tangga ke tempat ke-20. 

“Malaysia turut mengekalkan kedudukan keenam dalam pembangunan pasaran kewangan yang menjadi bidang terkuat negara ini berdasarkan prestasi konsisten sejak beberapa tahun lalu, selain turut disumbangkan kemudahan akses pembiayaan dan penyediaan dana modal teroka. 
“WEF bagaimanapun memberi amaran Malaysia perlu berdepan dan menyelesaikan cabaran lebih kritikal terhadap daya saingnya termasuk defisit bajet kerajaan pada 4.3 peratus daripada nilai KDNK pada 2012; pembabitan wanita yang rendah dalam tenaga buruh yang berterusan; dan kesediaan teknologi,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan mengumumkan laporan itu. 

Mustapa berkata, walaupun berjaya meningkat satu anak tangga tahun ini, kerajaan sedar masih banyak yang perlu dilakukan termasuk merasionalisasikan subsidi, melaksanakan Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) dan penambahbaikan pendidikan dan latihan. 

Kerajaan juga, katanya perlu mengutamakan langkah meningkatkan pembabitan pekerja wanita dalam pasaran pekerjaan negara. 

Pelaksanaan program Digital Malaysia, iaitu program kebangsaan yang disasarkan mewujudkan ekosistem yang akan menghubungkan Malaysia di peringkat global dalam masa sebenar pula dijangkakan memperbaiki prestasi dari segi kesediaan teknologi, katanya. 

Mustapa menegaskan, sementara kerajaan terus meningkatkan usaha untuk melaksanakan program transformasi ekonomi dan pentadbirannya, sektor swasta perlu turut memainkan peranan bagi memastikan Malaysia terus dapat memperbaiki kedudukan daya saingnya. 

Dalam hubungan itu, katanya Perbadanan Produktiviti (MPC) akan menerajui peranan dalam usaha meningkatkan daya saing negara di peringkat antarabangsa.