5 Things Malaysians Really, Really Want From The Budget 2019


Please don’t disappoint us, Malaysia Baru!

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5 Things Malaysians Really, Really Want From The Budget 2019
Image: CNN
It’s almost that time of the year, folks! Well, not Christmas, because it’s still two months away.

In about two weeks, we will find out how much the government loves us (and how much we will love them in return) with the tabling of the Budget 2019.

Over the years, we’ve seen a pretty fair share of really good initiatives and aids introduced by the government to help us Malaysians out

So, that begs the question: do the government really know what we want, what we really, really want from the Budget 2019?

Fret not, Mr. Govt Man! We asked them for you and this is their answers:

#1 Affordable homes (like, for real this time!)

It's what we could afford right now.
It seems like the whole ‘cheaper homes’ thing has been the most requested item in every Budget announcement since, we don’t know, donkey years ago?

The previous government actually did a pretty good job introducing the 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA) initiative, but things like difficulty in securing housing loans from banks, limited housing options and poor workmanship have brought a bad name to the otherwise promising idea. 

This year, we Malaysians hope that the government could provide a solution to the above mentioned problems. One way the government could help is to introduce subsidised housing loans to those who really want to buy a house but couldn't afford it (due to the high cost of living, d'uh!), instead of relying on private banks for loans. This way, average Malaysians won't be bogged down by interest charges.

Also, slashing the PR1MA home prices at prime locations around the city by ten to 15 per cent won't hurt, too. Come on, help us out here, govt; we need to buy a house to get married. 
Chances of this happening: ★★★☆☆

#2 Higher tax relief for the purchase of books

Not enough tax relief, so cannot read.
Currently, there’s a RM2,500 tax exemption for the purchase of print materials such as books, magazines and journals, but it’s lumped in together with the purchase of personal computers, gym memberships and payment of monthly bill for internet subscription. 

Assuming that you’re an urban professional living in the city, a gym membership and internet subscription would probably eat up your entire tax relief, leaving no space for you to claim for books. 

Increasing the tax relief for the buying of books – or better yet, make it a standalone category – would hopefully encourage Malaysians to read more. After all, Malaysians are reportedly reading only two books a year, and that's not enough to make us a well-read, literate country. More books, more smart people.
Chances of this happening: ★★☆☆☆

#3 More initiatives for the elderly, the young and the disabled

This one's for you, old man.
First of all, we like some of the initiatives introduced by the previous government to help those who really need them. The 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) was one that stood out, although the system has been abused by those looking for a quick buck.

For this year’s Budget, we believe a majority of Malaysians would love to see the government introduce more initiatives for the elderly, the young and of course, the disabled. These three groups are the people who really deserve all the help they could get, especially in the healthcare segment. The government could look into introducing a medical card or provide free transportation for these groups.

They could also work with various organisations to train and provide the elderly and the disabled with stable jobs so that they could earn an income. There are many ways the government could help these groups, so we hope they will work something out for Budget 2019.
Chances of this happening: ★★★★☆

#4 Reduction in income tax rates

How taxes work.
Like the famous Benjamin Franklin once said: ‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’. But for some of us out there, taxes will be the death of us.

Due to the rising cost of living, many working Malaysians, especially those working in the big cities, are trying very hard to make ends meet, so a reduction in income tax rates would help a brother out a lot. We know that the government plans to introduce more taxes to help trim our country’s debt, but it wouldn’t hurt shaving one or two per cent off the income tax rates, especially for those earning less than RM5,000 a month.

Here's a win-win situation: the government could lower income tax rates, but increase tax rates for cigarettes and alcohol? This way, those who are struggling with minimum pay will have a tax break, while higher cigarette and alcohol tax rates would, hopefully, deter them from living an unhealthy lifestyle. 
Chances of this happening: ★★★☆☆

#5 Faster, cheaper, more accessible internet

Non-stop. Buffering!
In this day and age, we would list internet as one of the things we can’t live without, right up there with air, water and our iPhone X.

In Budgets past, the government placed little attention on making the internet accessible to all Malaysians, which drove all of us insane. Also, we have to fork out quite a bit of money every month for a subpar internet connection.

However, the new government has given us a little hope regarding this issue: Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo has been looking at ways to make internet cheaper and more accessible to the masses since the day he took office. More recently, he’s been working hand in hand with internet providers to speed up the process

So, this Budget 2019, we hope that the government will go all in to make internet cheaper and faster for Malaysians. After all, how can we change the world when we can’t access the world wide web, right?
Chances of this happening: ★★★★★

Since we’re on the topic of cheap, fast internet, you do not have to wait until the Budget 2019 to enjoy some of it right now.

Yep, that’s right: cheap, fast internet exists in Malaysia right now! 

With U Mobile’s Giler Unlimited GX50 Postpaid plan, you don’t have to eat bread every month to afford all those gigabytes of mobile data.

For just RM50 a month, the postpaid plan offers subscribers UNLIMITED data for all apps and for literally anything.

Whether it’s watching all the videos on YouTube, streaming all your favourite songs on Spotify or playing online games 24/7, don’t worry: U Mobile promises to give you all the data you need.

Also, the plan gives you UNLIMITED calls to all networks, so you can talk to the girl you have a crush on till seven in the morning – everyday! 

To sweeten the deal, you’ll also get an additional 5GB of data for you to use as a mobile hotspot to share with friends, when you’re feeling generous.

And here’s the best part: there’s no weekday or weekend limit for the data, so you can just stay online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Want something cheaper? U Mobile has something for you!

Their Giler Unlimited GX30 Prepaid plan also comes with unlimited data for all apps, so you can play all the games, listen to all the songs and watch all the videos you like without the fear of running out of data.

And how much do you need to pay? Only RM30 a month – with no hidden costs! 

What are you waiting for? From now until 31 December, you’ll get a RM10 rebate if you switch to U Mobile’s Giler Unlimited GX50 Postpaid plan online. When you switch to the Giler Unlimited GX30 Prepaid plan via their website, you’ll get a RM5 rebate.  

For more information, head on over to U Mobile’s website by clicking here.

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