Budget 2019 Malaysia: Looking at the Rakyat’s Suggestions
As we all know, the Belanjawan 2019 website allows citizens of Malaysia to share their suggestions on what the government should consider for specific categories. There have been many different suggestions for the different categories. We put together some of these suggestions to bring up notable suggestions for the budget.
See also: Malaysia Budget 2019 – Live Updates
Related: Budget 2019: Summary Infographics
Cost of Living
There are several common suggestion themes that are constantly brought up under the cost of living. Namely for subsidies and public transportation costs.
For the subsidies, several of the users suggested that subsidies should be targeted-subsidies only, meaning that only people fulfilling certain requirements would be able to benefit from it. The suggestions stated that this could prevent people from taking advantage of local subsidies, such as visitors. They also suggested that the IC can be used as a control for a person’s subsidy-eligibility.
The costs of public transportation are also raised, noting that it is still expensive. Several of the suggestions further stated that the proposed RM100 transport pass would be very welcome in 2019 to mitigate such an issue.
Amongst the calls for controlled subsidies and reduced transportation costs, however, there was a very interesting suggestion that stood alone. It’s a suggestion that plays the devil’s advocate. It simply stated that people shouldn’t expect so much giveaways from the government and that subsidies should all be abolished. The people should learn to take care of themselves – interesting suggestion, isn’t it?
Housing, Infrastructure and Public Safety
Undoubtedly, housing will be one of the hottest topics of this upcoming budget. The rising costs of homes, and the ever-seemingly slow down of rental and purchases will be on the minds of everyone this time around.
Most of the suggestions were towards security, transport, and connectivity improvements, with an emphasis being placed on the use of CCTV cameras in many areas. Such suggestions were given to have active monitoring of traffic via these cameras to properly optimize traffic. The other suggestions were to have active monitoring of more crime-prone areas as well; one person even suggested that there should be no “cukai-pintu” for those living in the gated and guarded residential areas.
In terms of transportation, other suggestions stated that the government should look into having more efficient inter-city travel via public transport. Sidewalks should also be improved – I believe most of us can agree with that, especially in the city.
One user suggested that the government look into a “build-first-then-sell” scheme, to ensure that the quality of homes is high. This would help mitigate over-promising from the developers and delivering a sub-par product.
On the same topic of better housing, another user suggested that the government should allow international companies (such as those from China) to compete with REDHA (Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia) so that there would be more affordable housing done at a faster rate.
From the suggestions given, it is easy to sum up that Malaysians not only worry about housing prices, but also on the safety of their homes. It is quite concerning that many questions the safety of their surroundings. It is something the government should look at.
Education and Training
A lot of the suggestions for education asks for a focus-change in primary and secondary studies. Primary studies should be focussed on the studies of being a better person, such as understanding proper manners and ethics. The subject, Pendidikan Moral, should also be dropped in favour of a more practical approach.
Where primary school studies are more on behavioural, the secondary studies would be knowledge-focused. It is suggested that secondary students should also have a choice of subjects in their upper-secondary years, to promote better learning with the adequate facilities and training.
On a more general view, the entire education system is suggested to have a better focus on subjects that can help point Malaysia’s next generation towards contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. One person suggested that government could extend funding towards private schools to make it more affordable for those preferring to send their children there instead.
It is rather clear that Malaysians want their education system revamped, even before the suggestions were given. Most netizens on social media have been saying it for years that our syllabus should be updated – perhaps this would be the time?