THE Penang government expressed gratitude to the federal government for the goodies announced for the state during the tabling of Budget 2020 today.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said he would study the allocations and take positive action to ensure that Penang truly benefitted from Putrajaya’s allocations.

“The budget has provided several incentives to encourage foreign and local investments which will indirectly benefit the state, and thus create more job opportunities.

“The focus given on technical and vocational education and training is also apt and will help produce new talents to meet the demands in Penang,” he said in a statement here today.

Chow said Penang would also benefit from 5G services through digital transformation announced in the budget.

In addition, he said the standardisation of the toll rate on the Second Penang Bridge at RM7.00 compared to RM8.50 previously would reduce traffic congestion on the first bridge.

“The tourism sector can also be further developed with the proposed tax incentive for the tourism sector and the state government also welcomes the allocation of RM100 million for the construction of new cable car system to Penang Hill,” he said.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, when tabling the 2020 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat today, said the government will contribute RM100 million towards the construction of the new cable car system, with any additional costs to be financed by the state government. – Bernama

Special allowance for Sabah below Shafie’s expectation

MOHD Shafie Apdal said he had expected a much bigger special allowance for Sabah under Budget 2020.

The RM53.4 million announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today fell below expectations, said the chief minister.

“Sabah has a 40% revenue entitlement as stated in the federal constitution. But since 1974, the state has been getting only RM26.7 million.

“I had expected some adjustment, and my calculation was about RM1 billion a year.

Shafie said he welcomed the RM5.2 billion federal allocation for Sabah.

Being the country’s second-biggest state and third largest in terms of population, Sabah deserves a huge budget, he added.

Under Budget 2020, Sabah will get RM5.2 billion from the total of RM56 billion, with Sarawak getting RM4.4 billion and the peninsula, RM46 billion.

Lim said Sabah will receive a RM53.4 million special allowance as provided for under Article 112D of the federal constitution, double the amount paid by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

He also announced that the figure will be doubled in the next five years to RM108 million.

RM100 million for Putrajaya’s Indian unit

THE government will again allocate a grant of RM100 million to the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (Mitra) to improve the socio-economy, skills development, health, education and women empowerment of the Indian community.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said 80% of the allocation will be programme-based and not organisation specific.

“The government remains sensitive to the difficulties and specific challenges faced by segments of the Indian community,” he said when tabling Budget 2020 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

For the Orang Asli, Lim said RM57 million will be given to the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) to improve the welfare assistance to the community.

“In addition, another RM83 million is also allocated for overall economic development, education and infrastructure of the Orang Asli,” he said.

To support the development and repair of basic infrastructure in new villages, the government will continue to provide RM85 million in 2020, he added. – Bernama