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Commentary: How will Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government revise Malaysia’s 2023 budget?

Commentary: How will Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government revise Malaysia’s 2023 budget?

The Malaysian parliament was declared in October, to make opening to Malaysia's 15th General Election (GE15). The budget for the country's federal elections for 2023, which was tabled in the lower house just three days earlier, was in doubt.

After GE15 has ended the focus is now focused on the possibility of re-planning the budget for 2023 during the new session of parliament beginning on December 19. What are we to expect from the 2023 budget that has been revised? Many factors will affect the revision.

In the beginning, the new political leaders have been elected. The Prime Anwar Ibrahim is the new Minister. Anwar Ibrahim is from Pakatan Harapan (PH), which was not a part of the previous government as it was headed by Barisan Nasional (BN) with the backing by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).

But the fact is that in GE15, PH and its political allies failed to win enough votes to create an official government. In the end, PH needed the support of BN and GPS in order to establish a newly formed unity government. So, the government of today is not completely new. In both cases, BN as well as GPS should have some influence in any revision to the budget in 2023,told by blackjack online.


The PH-led government will be given very little time to update the budget, since it's already been delayed by two months.

Concerning structure and timeframe The budget for 2023 is expected to come in two parts The first one to be introduced in the above-mentioned parliament session in December, and the second, possibly three months after. There is precedent for this kind of schedule: the budget was presented in two parts in the month of December 1999, and in February of 2000 in the wake of similar circumstances in the election.

This two-stage method makes sense since it allows the PH-led government to speedily approve the most important operational allocations for the first installment.

The budget would also include salaries for civil servants and other expenses that support the day-to-day activities of the government beginning on January 20, 2023. A significant portion of the operational spending allocation that was proposed in the previous version of the budget 2023 will likely to be retained in the new budget.

1st BUDGET PACKAGE BASED on the cost of living

But, other areas will also receive significant importance, in particular in the budget's first package. Anwar The Minister of Finance, also known as the Minister of Finance, declared that solving Malaysians' living expenses issues is the main economic priority of his administration. The first budget package of the budget's revised version will likely include large amounts of specific subsidies and income assistance for the most disadvantaged (B40 the bottom 40 percent income group) and some assistance for middle class (M40 middle 40 per percent the income range).

The newly established National Action Council on the Cost of Living is charged with coming with ideas. Since the income support programs must be implemented immediately, cash transfers in lump sums that are made via the existing systems (namely, Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia) will likely to be suggested and modified (perhaps changed to Bantuan Sara Hidup, as according to the Pakatan manifesto).

Allocations to fishermen and farmers through input and output subsidies were in the prior version of the budget for 2023. They are likely to be included in the new budget due to the increase in the cost of fertilisers as well as other inputs for agriculture. However, this may slow the plan of Pakatan to gradually shift between input and output ones.

Two other types of programs that help with the issues of cost of living and alleviate poverty are childcare assistance and the provision of food to the school-based childcare. These types of programs were in the previous budgets, with broad the political spectrum of support.

Assistance for business, specifically small and micro medium-sized companies, is another aspect that needs constant attention. Micro-credit programs were included in the previous budgets, and it is one of the areas that the PH campaign manifesto highlighted.

Employment support programs for young were an important feature of the prior version of the budget 2023. These programs might be a good fit for the government of the People's Republic, even the election manifesto was rather silent on this issue rather focusing on training and education.


Some of the most extravagant proposals for programs (including those in the election manifestos) and those that have more long-term effects on the budget will likely be assigned to the next budget package.

This would be in addition to more ambitious pledges made in the manifestos for election campaigns that are issued by PH, BN and GPS. Certain promises are expensive and require to be re-examined for their financial viability, such as the BN's promise to provide monthly income assistance to ensure minimum incomes that are above the poverty level as well as free university scholarships to students from B40 families.

There is a chance that the talks between factions within Anwar's unity government may slow the progress of the second plan. The financial viability of the budget proposals that are being negotiated will be limited by the fiscal limits for the government. This depends on the capacity of the government to carry out changes.

They will also increase tax revenues in the near future. But, these reforms may not be feasible politically when the economy is slowing down, and inflationary pressures are not easing.

MYRIAD Interests of Parts of the UNITY Government

In addition, there is a little uncertainties in the new budget for 2023 due to the numerous interests of different parties within the government of unity, such as the requests for Sabah and Sarawak's political leaders It will impact the scope, content and size.
The budget proposal was compared to the previous one and GPS's manifesto latest demands could involve the building of military camps, as in addition to immigration and customs facilities for border security as well as infrastructure projects to improve coastal road infrastructure. Sabah as well as Sarawak are also seeking larger proportions of federal government revenue and development spending.

The way the new prime minister that has also assumed the role that of the finance minister will meet these requirements, given the limitations of his coalition and the length of time it remains to be seen.

Although there is some apparent continuity in the past - ex-finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz (in control of the initial budget in 2023) is currently the minister of international trade and industry Anwar Anwar will want to make a distinction in the budget of his administration to reflect the priorities of PH and his government.

Cassey Lee is an Associate Director and Senior Fellow for the Regional Economic Studies Programme, ISEAS the Yusof Ishak Institute. This article was first published on the blog of the Institute, Fulcrum.