KUCHING: This Friday, Malaysians across the country will be turning their attention to Parliament as the Pakatan Harapan-led government tables its budget for next year.
The Borneo Post asked Sarawakians what’s on their wishlist and here’s what they said:
“Our wishlist for Budget 2020 is firstly, that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) provide some incentive or discount to be offered to borrowers who settle their loans.
“The previous government gave 20 per cent discount if the loan was settled. Hopefully, in this new budget, the sum will remain the same, or perhaps higher.
“We hope this can be provided since there is no plan to abolish PTPTN.
“Secondly, we hope there will be incentives for young parents, who are hard pressed by the higher cost of living. Young couples who have just started out their career, may not be financially stable.
“So, we are hoping there will be some kind of assistance to alleviate their burden.”
Abang Fairul Syarmil Abang Mohd
Sibu Bumiputra Graduates Association chairman
“We hope the suggestion to provide monthly allowance for Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) recipients will be approved. Also, the assistance to veterans be continued from various aspects of needs.
It is suggested that annual allocations for all registered veteran associations be continued as what had been disbursed to all associations by State Veterans Affairs Department (JHEV) in 2019.
As for the people, to ensure a balanced economy and strengthen the country’s administration – all promises made in the (Pakatan Harapan) manifesto must be fulfilled. The budget allocation for Sabah and Sarawak must be disbursed fairly.
As the country moves towards vision 2020, the budget tabled must benefit and prioritise the welfare of the people.”
Mohd Safree Mohd Kassim
Malaysian Navy Veterans Association Sarawak president
“As retirees, our wish for Budget 2020 will be a higher interest for bank deposits and maintain six per cent or above for EPF savings.
The cost of living is getting tougher especially after the increase of sugar tax.
In fact, all daily consumption of foods contain sugar, not just soft drinks as claimed by the government.
Because of its effects on food, prices have gone up and it affects the livelihood of all citizens.
It is our wish, sugar tax be abolished.
Is there any secured investments available for retirees?”
“Sarawak youths are in need of a bigger and special allocations. In Sarawak, our youth must be developed and skilled, therefore they need to have many more skills training centres in the state incorporating TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training) because we want Sarawak to become a developed state.
At the same time, as you can see, we have many heavy industries’ investing in the state that require skilled people and they deserve a good salary comparable to what you get when you work in big cities in Malaysia. Do not take our skilled youths for granted.
We hope that Sarawak youths will be allocated more budget and it is our rights to have more facilities like the youths in West Malaysia.”
Malaysian Youth Parliamentary Member
>To be continued tomorrow