The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has made some adjustments to Budget 2015 Malaysia amid falling crude oil prices to ensure sustainable development and resilience of the economy. Here are some benefits that the average Malaysians can enjoy from the revised budget:
1. Cheaper domestic flights
To increase national revenue, the Government will boost domestic tourism through competitive domestic air fares.
While the mechanism is still unclear, this could mean new regulations for the domestic aviation market, or lower Passenger Service Charge (PSC) rates.
Internationally, to promote tourism to Malaysia, there will now be free visa for tourists, including those from China.
2. Cheaper Malaysian-made products
The Malaysian Government will rev up its efforts to promote Malaysian-made products to boost domestic revenue. Efforts to boost consumption of locally-made products may include more competitive prices, greater international awareness drive or through export promotional activities.
A survey by the American Journal of Scientific Research in 2010 found that up to 75% Malaysians in the middle-class category are loyal to home-grown products.
From electronics, apparel to processed food, Malaysian-made products can be found in over 200 countries around the world.
3. Longer mega-sales periods
Shopping enthusiasts will take delight in longer nationwide mega-sales periods, which is part of the Government’s initiatives to encourage spending and to boost national coffers.
There are currently three major shopping events in Malaysia, which include 1Malaysia Grand Prix Sale (March), the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June to Sept), and the 1Malaysia Year End Sale.
The move to extend mega-sales periods could mean that the nationwide events could begin as early in February and in May, or longer operating hours for shopping malls.
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4. Suspended national service
Face it – the postponement of the National Service (NS) Training Programme this year would have many 18-year-olds across the country jumping for joy. The move will save the Government an estimated RM400mil. The programme will instead be reviewed and enhanced for the future.
Financial-savvy youngsters might be bumped over the loss of extra pocket money, though. NS trainees were initially given a RM300 allowance a month as part of the programme. Beginning January 2008, this amount was raised to RM450 per month.
Many of the revisions for Budget 2015 are centred on initiatives to boost national income to make up for the revenue loss from the oil slump. However, notable reductions from the initial budget include a cutback of RM5.5 billion for Operating Expenditure and the postponement of the 2015 National Service Training Programme, which will save RM400 million.