Every year, the Malaysian government holds its annual tabling of the federal budget, which estimates the revenues for the coming year, identifies proposed government spending, forecasts economic conditions, as well as outlines all the current and new policy initiatives.
The Minister of Finance would be the one announcing the budget in the House of Representatives (also known as ‘Dewan Rakyat’).
The tabling of the budget usually takes place in October, and is always a hot topic when this time of the year rolls around, as it showcases where the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being channelled towards!
During Budget 2021 last year, the theme was ‘Teguh Kita, Menang Bersama’ (roughly translated to ‘We Are Strong, We Win Together’), and was aimed at helping the rakyat during one of the worst global health crisis.
With a total of approximately RM322.5 billion allocated, it was one of the biggest budgets in the country’s history – designed to boost economic resilience, safeguard Malaysians’ wellbeing, and reinforce the national healthcare system.
So, what does the budget this year entail, especially in these highly uncertain times when COVID-19 cases hit a few record-breaking highs in the year 2021? We’re about to take a closer look!
What Are Key Opinion Leaders Saying?
According to the Prime Minister (pictured above), he has given the reassurance that even though many of the economic sectors have reopened, Budget 2022 would still focus on assisting those who are negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“Many people are still facing difficulties due to the long-term effects of movement control restrictions. However, the situation has improved for the people, with the COVID-19 cases declining, and much of the economy has reopened,” said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Echoing that sentiment of helping those who are in need is Associate Professor Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff from Putra Business School.
He expects that the Bottom 40% (B40) group will continue to be the main focus in Budget 2022, with more assistance given out, such as the one-off payment from Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN).
“More job opportunities that pay higher salaries should be created for the B40 group, as well as providing financial support and training for those who want to do business,” he said.
Now, What Are The Rakyat Saying?
We asked Malaysians on our Facebook page to let us know what they wished to see in Budget 2022 for the property market, and we got a number of responses that had a similar undertone.
For example, some of the comments were hoping to see an increase in the minimum wage and for more financial aid to help with the rakyat’s pockets, such as including the Middle 40 (M40) group for government assistance as well.
Khru Shah Csj says, “Please don’t forget the M40 with a lot of commitments, we do exist in Malaysia too, and yes we’re deserving citizens, thank you.”
If the government were to implement a higher basic salary for those in the public AND private sectors, as well as provide one-off payments for eligible M40 recipients, it could have a trickle-down effect on the property market.
This is because more Malaysians would have additional cash on hand to save up for a down payment, and wouldn’t need to worry so much about merely surviving on a day-to-day basis.
Han H’ng also commented that she’d like to see the government reducing the cost of home ownership, such as lowering the fees by 50% on the Memorandum of Transfer (MOT).
The MOT is a legal document that, once signed, transfers the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.
With a discount, it would thus allow for homebuyers to have less additional costs that they’d need to fork out for, when it comes to buying a property.
Another commenter, Ruby Ng, has said that she would like for the government to waive or repeal the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) from the sixth year onwards.
“Now, there are many property owners who are forced to sell their homes or investment pieces at a loss, due to jobs and salaries being cut. Also, the economy during the pandemic has been very bad, with growth at a very slow rate, so any increase in house price is minimal,” she said.
Datuk Chang Kim Loong (pictured above), Honorary Secretary-General of the National House Buyers Association (HBA), echoed the sentiment about RPGT as well, adding, “If this were to happen, sellers can keep their prices at a more competitive rate for home seekers, without having to factor in the RPGT.”
He went on to add that he wishes for the Budget 2022 to include incentives for developers to construct more affordable properties, saying that the government should take a more proactive approach in sweetening the deal that will encourage developers to help with providing housing.
Finally, Chang is of the opinion that eligible individuals should also be given easier access to financing for their first home.
If that were to happen, it would certainly ease the worries of potential homebuyers who seek to own their first property but are unable to do so because of high home loan application rejections.
Is There Something To Look Forward To In Budget 2022?
We certainly hope so! With all the doom and gloom in the past year alone no thanks to the record-breaking number of COVID-19 related deaths and soaring levels of unemployment, the rakyat could do with some good news.
At PropertyGuru Malaysia, we too have our own property wishlist for Budget 2022; now all that’s left is to wait and see if the government implements any of these measures to help the people!
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