Kuala Lumpur, Oct 13: The Malaysian government’s Budget 2024, themed “Madani Economy: Empowering the People,” outlines a comprehensive plan to boost tourism, enhance the property market, and strengthen the country’s skill development ecosystem.
This forward-looking budget is aligned with the vision of a dynamic, empowered, and inclusive economy that benefits all Malaysians.
Here’s a consolidated overview of the key highlights:
Empowering Tourism: Airbnb has warmly welcomed the government’s commitment to bolster the tourism industry.
With an allocation of RM350 million dedicated to tourism promotion and RM120 million for the maintenance and conservation of tourist attractions and heritage sites, Malaysia is positioning itself as a preferred international tourism destination in the long term.
These measures are seen as essential in achieving the Visit Malaysia Year 2026 target of over 26 million international tourists.
To further attract international travelers, the government has introduced improvements to Visa-On-Arrival facilities, social visit passes, Multiple Entry Visas, and relaxed conditions for the My Second Home (MM2H) program.
These initiatives are expected to encourage longer stays in Malaysia.
The government’s decision to consider the potential of the sharing economy in the hospitality sector, as recommended by Airbnb, is crucial for the success of these efforts.
Airbnb’s contribution to the Malaysian economy is substantial, with a report by Oxford Economics indicating that the platform contributed over RM 5 billion to the GDP and supported nearly 57,000 jobs in 2022.
This accounted for approximately 4.9 percent of the tourism industry’s contribution to GDP in 2022. Airbnb remains committed to collaborating with the government to rejuvenate Malaysia’s tourism sector and ensure local communities and entrepreneurs benefit from the travel economy.
PropertyGuru, a key player in Malaysia’s property market, has also applauded the government’s initiatives in Budget 2024.
The focus on targeted initiatives for the underprivileged and the allocation of RM2.47 billion for public housing projects in 2024 align with PropertyGuru’s recommendations.
The increase in the supply of affordable homes, such as the continued development of 36 People Housing Programs (Program Perumahan Rakyat, PPR) and assistance for underprivileged rural citizens, is expected to stabilize the existing property market.
Additionally, the government’s decision to impose a four percent stamp duty on housing transactions by non-Malaysians or private foreign organizations, excluding permanent residents, is welcomed.
Paired with the initiative to increase allocations for the Housing Credit Scheme to RM10 billion, this could encourage potential homebuyers to take the first step to fulfill their homeownership dreams.
The government’s grant of RM1 billion to encourage developers to revive abandoned housing projects is seen as a positive step.
PropertyGuru hopes that the government works closely with developers to ensure that new housing projects meet the diverse preferences and needs of potential buyers.
Empowering Skills Development: In addition to these initiatives, Coursera, an online learning platform, is also witnessing a growing interest in skills development.
The budget places a significant emphasis on skills development, aiming to create a digitally inclusive society and foster innovation.
The New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) with a RM95 billion investment target intends to generate millions of jobs and improve economic stability by 2030.
Allocations towards TVET education, skills development, and training initiatives reinforce the need to enhance the workforce’s skills continually.
Efforts to empower women and youth entrepreneurship with RM720 million in funding and extended tax incentives for women rejoining the workforce until December 2027 signal progress toward a more equitable economic environment.
The budget also allocates RM250 million to expand WiFi service coverage across all public universities and prioritizes 5G coverage to provide high-speed and reliable connectivity to Malaysians, enhancing the quality of education.
Furthermore, the government’s support for artificial intelligence (AI) and technology in education, including the allocation of RM20 million for an AI study center and the establishment of the first AI faculty at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), aligns with global trends.
These initiatives can boost innovation, research, and the global competitiveness of Malaysian graduates, addressing the evolving job market’s demand for AI-powered tools.
Bridging the academia-industry divide is another critical component of the budget.
The allocation of RM50 million to foster collaborations between public universities and the private sector aims to drive graduate employability.
Integrating industry-aligned content into curricula through a blended learning approach ensures that students are equipped with the skills needed to excel in the workforce.
In conclusion, Malaysia’s Budget 2024 outlines a vision of a robust and inclusive economy, with a strong focus on tourism, property, and skills development.
The commitment to these sectors is expected to contribute to Malaysia’s growth as a regional economic leader, enhancing the lives of its citizens and empowering the nation for the future.
Meanwhile, in a noteworthy budget allocation, Malaysia has earmarked RM60 million to bolster its national cybersecurity infrastructure, signaling a significant commitment, particularly as the country prepares for the impending 5G revolution.
The advent of 5G technology, which paves the way for the Internet of Things (IoT), necessitates heightened cybersecurity measures due to the rapidly expanding attack surface.
Additionally, the Malaysian government has allocated RM900 million to drive digitization efforts among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It’s imperative not to underestimate the pivotal role of cybersecurity in this process.
Steven Scheurmann, Regional Vice President, ASEAN, Palo Alto Networks, emphasized, “While digitization encompasses various dimensions, cybersecurity serves as the foremost foundation for such investments, especially in the fight against fraud, where SME cybersecurity plays a crucial role in safeguarding both business and customer interests.
In his analysis of Budget 2024, Datuk Amir Firdaus Abdullah, the Founder and Group Managing Director of Aurelius Healthcare, commends the allocation of RM41.2 billion to the Ministry of Health, as unveiled in the Malaysia MADANI Budget 2024.
This figure signifies a notable increase of RM4.9 billion from the previous budget.
The government’s renewed focus on bolstering public health funding is not just a financial consideration but also a testament to the collaborative effort required to enhance the overall well-being of our citizens.
This commitment to healthcare improvement, the strengthening of medical facilities, and the advancement of preventive care brings a sense of optimism to the healthcare sector.
Recognizing the interplay between the public and private healthcare sectors, it’s essential to note that, while private hospitals play a vital role in the nation’s healthcare ecosystem, a robust foundation in public health is essential to cultivate a holistic well-being environment.
This commitment aligns with Aurelius Healthcare’s unwavering dedication to consistently delivering high-quality healthcare and equitable medical solutions for both healthcare professionals and patients.
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