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‘Timid and disappointing’ budget a major letdown for struggling Malaysians

The response to Budget 2021 from workers groups and activists is one of frustration and disappointment as a significant majority feel that the plan unveiled by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has failed to address many of the urgent needs of Malaysia’s B40.

“This is a very disappointing and timid budget and most of the policies are recycled,” said Sarawak Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary Andrew Lo.

“Apart from the third round of Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) payments, in which households with a combined monthly income of RM2,500 and below will receive RM1,200 and families with more than two children will receive RM1,800, the rest are negligible,” said Lo.

“The tax reduction of 1 percent is worth only about RM300 after taking into account various existing rebates and the reduction in Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution to 9 percent. Allowing withdrawals is sacrificing worker retirement savings and inviting future trouble,” he added...

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