Budget 2024: Highlights Malaysians need to know

Money on our minds


By Aina Nur Sarah

Budget 2024: Highlights Malaysians need to know

On 13 October 2023, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tabled the biggest budget yet with a total allocation of RM393.8 billion for the 2024 federal government budget. This is a RM5.8 billion increase compared to the previous year. 

Themed “Economic Reform, Empowering People”, Budget 2024 will have three key thrusts—to enhance governance and public delivery system, to transform the economy and businesses, and to elevate the wellbeing of the rakyat. The budget will also reinforce the government’s commitment towards fiscal reforms to address the twin challenges of a less robust global economic outlook and Malaysia’s financial constraints.

RM303.8 billion from the budget is allocated for operating expenditure while the remaining RM90 billion is for development expenditure, with RM2 billion in contingency savings.

In this article, we break down the key highlights of #Budget2024 that you should take note of. 


Image: Mikhael Nilov/Pexels



  • Sugar tax to increase from 40 sen a litre to 50 sen a litre
  • Government to impose 5 per cent excise duty on chewing tobacco
  • Service tax to increase from 6 to 8 per cent. This will not apply to the food and beverage as well as telecommunication industry.
  • Putrajaya will enact a law to facilitate the collection of a 5 to 10 per cent luxury tax. It will not apply to foreign tourists.



  • A new EPF account named ‘Flexible Account’ will be introduced and contributors will be able to access this account at any time. 



  • An incentive of RM1,500 a month will be given over the course of six months to support over 3,300 job seekers. RM30 million is allocated for this initiative.



  • RM2.47 billion allocated for the implementation of people’s housing projects in 2024
  • RM10 billion allocated for housing credit guarantee, to benefit 40,000 borrowers


Image: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels



  • Prasarana to spend RM600 million to procure 150 electric buses and three new bus depots to support LRT3
  • RM150 million allocated for the bus transformation programme
  • RM50 million allocated to install smart traffic lights at congestion and accident-prone areas
  • RM2,400 in rebates allocated for those earning less than RM120,000 a year who purchase electric motorcycles
  • Government to extend RM2,500 tax exemption for EV charging expenses.
  • RM4.7 billion allocated to resume the construction of 5 LRT3 stations that were previously cancelled, namely the Tropicana, Raja Muda, Temasya, Bukit Raja and Bandar Botanic stations



  • The Health ministry will be given an allocation of  RM41.2 billion, with RM5.5 billion allocated for medicines and vaccines.
  • Over RM1 billion allocated to build new development projects in various hospitals in Johor, Kelantan, and Selangor
  • Government will support Sarawak’s plans to develop its own cancer institute
  • RM200 million allocated to outsource treatment to private hospitals
  • RM130 million allocated for health screenings and vaccinations for pregnant women
  • RM100 million allocated to expand Madani medical scheme nationwide that will benefit 700,000 people



  • RM50 million allocated for a social security scheme for housewives. This will benefit 400,000 women registered under e-Kasih.



  • Over RM2.4 billion allocated to Social Welfare Department (JKM) to benefit more than 450,000 people including hardcore poor households, elderly, children, and the disabled
  • RM10 billion allocated for Rahmah cash aid programme. This will benefit nine million people, or 60 per cent of Malaysian adults, with the maximum amount increased to RM3,700 while the minimum amount for youths has been increased to RM500
  • Government to expand Sumbangan Asas Rahmah programme by crediting RM100 each month for a year to 700,000 Rahmah aid recipients
  • RM2.4 billion allocated for the welfare department. This will benefit 450,000 people, including the hardcore poor, elderly, children and the disabled
  • RM1 billion allocated to ensure welfare of the elderly
  • Eligibility for welfare aid has been revised in line with the new poverty line of RM1,198 a month



  • RM1.2 billion in various aid allocated for the disabled
  • Allowances for disabled trainers raised to RM300 from RM150
  • Proceeds from sale of special number plates will be channelled to the less fortunate. This includes test fees for motorcycles, e-hailing, and taxis


Image: Tirichard Kumtanom/Pexels



  • The Education Ministry will receive an allocation of RM58.7 billion—with RM1.9 billion budgeted to upgrade schools
  • RM2.5 billion allocated to build 26 new schools in Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang, Perak and Kelantan
  • RM180 million allocated to construct 18 new special education blocks in schools in Kedah, Penang and Perlis
  • RM150 million allocated to expand aid for poor students up to Form 3, compared to up to Form 1 previously. This will benefit one million students
  • RM100 million allocated to upgrade and maintain computer labs in schools
  • RM100 million allocated for students who dropped out of school amid pandemic
  • RM82 million allocated to build 26 new pre-schools under the education ministry in Sarawak, Pahang, and Melaka
  • RM30 million allocated to provide disabled students with special devices and facilities



  • Higher education will receive an allocation of RM16.3 billion
  • Government to give between 10 to 15 per cent discount on PTPTN loans
  • RM250 million allocated to improve WiFi access in all public varsities
  • RM300 million allocated to improve infrastructure in local universities
  • RM5 million allocated to support 5,000 students to access life-long learning programmes in community colleges
  • RM20 million allocated to set up the country’s first AI facility in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Entrance fees for public varsities capped at RM1,500
  • Students who cannot afford to pay their tuition fees will not be barred from registering for courses



  • Government will be expanding the bankruptcy scheme to support youths with debts of less than RM200,000
  • RM20 million allocated for the Rakan Muda programme
  • RM500 reward allocated for youths who volunteer with bodies recognised by Putrajaya
  • 35,000 children to benefit from the expansion of the Biasiswa Kecil Persekutuan programme, to include households earning less than RM2,589 a month



  • The government has allocated RM160 million to support the creative industry—including funds to support local films
  • RM80 million allocated for the conservation and preservation of UNESCO heritage sites, including those in Sarawak, Kedah and Perak
  • RM50 million allocated for government agencies to promote arts and culture
  • RM20 million allocated for Think City to preserve Kuala Lumpur’s cultural heritage
  • RM10 million allocated to support cultural activities in Sabah, Sarawak, Perak, and Terengganu
  • 10 per cent reduction in entertainment duties for international acts
  • 5 per cent reduction in entertainment duties for theme parks
  • Local artists will not be subject to entertainment duties
  • Government to revise entertainment duties in Federal Territories



  • RM72 million allocated to improve the ecosystem for elite athletes, including RM20 million for the Road to Gold Olympic programme
  • RM12 million allocated for the National Sports Council to support training of athletes
  • Up to RM1,000 tax exemption for purchase of sporting goods. This is extended to training fees



  • With a target of 26.1 million tourists, the government has set 2026 as the next Visit Malaysia Year
  • RM350 million allocated to support efforts to promote Malaysia as a top tourism destination—including the Visit Malaysia 2026 campaign, aid for cultural performances, matching grants for charter flights, and to support Islamic tourism.
  • RM20 million allocated to upgrade and maintain selected tourism sports including those in Perlis, Pahang, and Negeri Sembilan


Image: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels



  • RM60 million allocated to develop the 5G cybersecurity framework
  • RM10 million allocated to help Malaysians who fall victim to overseas syndicates
  • RM10 million allocated to support the National Scam Response Centre
  • Bank Negara Malaysia to develop a national fraud portal by mid-2024



  • RM44 billion in loan and financing facilities allocated for micro SMEs. This includes RM1.4 billion for micro loans from BSN, RM330 million in loans from Tekun Nasional, RM720 million for women and youth entrepreneurs and RM30 million for Indian businesses
  • RM20 billion allocated for Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Berhad to guarantee loans for SMEs involved in the green economy, technology, and halal sectors
  • RM900 million allocated for loans from BNM to help SMEs digitalise and automate
  • RM110 million allocated to upgrade hawker centres and public markets across the nation
  • RM100 million allocated to support digitalisation efforts of 20,000 SMEs
  • RM50 million allocated to develop 4,000 new trading spaces. These traders will be given six months free rent
  • RM10 million allocated to upgrade 10,000 food stalls and warungs nationwide



  • Diesel subsidy to be rationalised in phases
  • Government to continue rationalising electricity subsidies
  • RM10 billion to the Rahmah cash aid where targeted subsidies will be implemented in stages



  • Financial institutions to allocate RM200 billion in loans to support industries to reduce carbon emissions
  • Tax cuts for entities that sponsor tree planting or hold environmental preservation projects
  • RM60 million allocated to increase the number of community rangers to protect permanent forest reserves against loggers and poachers
  • RM200 million allocated for the Ecological Fiscal Transfer for Biodiversity Conservation
  • RM563 million allocated to rehabilitate over 2,000 high-risk slopes nationwide



  • The price ceiling allocated for eggs and chicken will be lifted
  • RM400 million allocated to support food security programmes


For more information about #Budget2024, visit the official website here


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