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Tengku Zafrul: Budget 2023 will repeat the history of 1999 if Parliament dissolved

All Budget-related procedures will be referred back to 1999 as the govt has been in similar situation

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by BERNAMA

BUDGET 2023 will repeat the history of Budget 2000 if the Parliament is dissolved after this, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture, centre) said.

Tengku Zafrul said if the dissolution does happen, all the procedures of the Budget 2023 would be referred back to that year because the government has faced similar situations before.

“The question should have been asked to the prime minister but it happened before in 1999, so we will look back on that year.

“At that time, the Budget was tabled and Parliament was dissolved after which the Budget was presented again in the Parliament,” he said in a press conference after presenting the Budget 2023 in Parliament today.

He was responding to rumours where the Dewan Rakyat will be dissolved shortly, sparking a debate by some parties that the presentation of the Budget 2023 will be pointless.

To recap, Budget 2000 was presented on Oct 29, 1999 and Parliament was dissolved on Nov 11, 1999.

Following that, the 10th General Elections was held on Nov 29, 1999, and a new budget similar to the one presented in October 1999 was presented again on Feb 25, 2000.

The Budget 2023 that was presented today is three weeks earlier than previously scheduled.

Commenting further, Tengku Zafrul said the Budget 2023 focuses on the current position, direction and future of the country taking into account the Economic Outlook Report that has been published.  

“As mentioned earlier, we have reviewed our GDP this year and the new projection is between 6.5% and 7%. We also have a new deficit target for this year which is 5.8% compared to 6% before.  

“Next year, we have set a deficit target of 5.5%. In addition, there is also an estimate of expenses and planning for the next year. So, your question (if the Budget 2023 is in vain), is actually unfounded,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said the proposed reintroduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be discussed next year depending on the economic situation.

“We did not announce GST in the Budget 2023. The matter will be discussed in Cabinet’s meeting, depending on the situation of the economy next year.

“So, this year we did not discuss it in the Budget,” he noted.

Speaking on the economic outlook for next year, the minister said the global economy is indeed quite challenging next year compared to this year.

He cited that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have also lowered their expectations for next year.

“In fact, the focus of the GDP growth is still expected to be positive between 2% and 3%.

“However, Malaysia will be slightly affected because this year our expectation is 6.5% to 7%. But next year, it is between 4% and 5%.

“That is why the Budget that we presented focuses on issues that can deal with the global economic slowdown in the next year,” he said.

Dayang Norazhar

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