- Budget 2024 reflects a negative fiscal impulse, with a lower allocation compared with the projected expenditure for 2023.
- MSMEs to benefit from RM44 billion allocated for loans, credit guarantees and digitalisation grants, with a focus on green sectors. However, the newly proposed capital gains tax on unlisted shares might impact MSME and start-up funding in the short term.
- Education receives a substantial amount of funding to promote inclusivity and tackle learning gaps, especially among disadvantaged pupils. While STEM and TVET are emphasised, there are ongoing challenges in competency, governance and perceptions.
- Numerous initiatives aim to address environmental risks, biodiversity, the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and decarbonisation for sustainable growth. Need for transparency in funds disbursement and a greater focus on nature-based solutions, alternative financing and adequate EV infrastructure.
- Increased focus on social protection for homemakers, along with higher investment in elderly care will benefit women and families, but overall Budget 2024 could be more gender responsive.
Unpacking Budget 2024: navigating fiscal realities and policy priorities
by Ahmad Afandi, Calvin Cheng, Dhana Raj, Lee Min Hui, Qarrem Kassim, and Sofea Azahar, 19 October 2023.