Sarawak Chinese business group welcomes good measures under Budget 2023 to reach out to MSMEs


Datuk Jonathan Chai

KUCHING (Feb 26): The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak (ACCCIS) welcomes good measures under Budget 2023 to reach out to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

ACCCIS secretary-general Datuk Jonathan Chai said the Budget is “fittingly focused” on increasing support for the MSMEs, providing credit facilities and guarantees as well as other incentive measures.

“From the perspective of the business community, we welcome some of the measures introduced in this Budget, especially the facilities to be made available to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and also the cut in tax rates for SMEs and even M40.

“For example, the government will continue to provide various loan and financing facilities worth up to RM40 billion for MSME entrepreneurs and Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP) will provide guarantees of up to RM20 billion for SME financing,” he told The Borneo Post today when asked to comment on Budget 2023 tabled in Parliament on Friday.

Chai said while ACCCIS welcomes the reduction in company income tax rate for SMEs to 15 per cent from 17 per cent (resulting in tax savings of RM450 million benefiting 150,000 MSMEs), they are of the view that the preferential threshold tax should be revised higher to RM1 million or at the current threshold of RM600,000 from the budget’s proposal of RM150,000.

He pointed out that this is to ease their cash flow to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“And also, to help them to be more competitive and have leeway to reinvest from the tax savings,” he said.

According to Chai, another notable feature of Budget 2023 is the attention given to corruption and the commitment to address to the leakages in subsidies.

He noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has pledged that his unity government will conduct institutional reforms and good management, eliminate room for systemic corruption and embezzlement.

“He (Anwar) has also highlighted, among others that there are leakages in diesel subsidy with diesel worth RM10 billion misappropriated in 2022, and the 2020, 2021 Auditor General’s Report revealed RM3 billion in leakages including loss of public money, wastages, improper payments.

“Hopefully, there would be political will coupled with conscientious efforts on the part of the government to tackle these long-standing problems so that we could put our country back onto the right track of progressive development in order to realise the dream and vision of Madani Malaysia,” Chai added.