Budget 2024 summary: Fuel subsidy cuts, LRT3, developments and more - all you need to know as road users

Berita Kereta

Budget 2024 summary: Fuel subsidy cuts, LRT3, developments and more - all you need to know as road users

Malaysia's Budget 2024 tabled by Prime Minister Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim today revealed some new and updated initiatives by the government as we move forward to the new year. Related to the automotive sector and matters related to road users in the country, below is the summary for Budget 2024 in Malaysia:

RON 95 and diesel fuel subsidy

According to Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s fuel price is considered one of the cheapest in the world at RM 2.05/litre for RON 95. Last year, Budget 2023 allocated RM 64 billion for subsidies and aids and if continued as per usual, the figure is expected to rise up to RM 81 billion.

“Thus, starting from next year, targeted subsidies will be implemented in phases. Some of the savings from these subsidies will be channelled directly to increase the allocation for cash assistance through the Rahmah Cash Contribution from RM 8 billion to RM 10 billion,” said Anwar.

In regards to diesel subsidy, the government is spending RM 1.5 billion in total to keep diesel price at RM 2.15/per litre. Rationalisation of diesel subsidy will be implemented in phases starting next year to reduce spending as well as to avoid wastage and smuggling.

"In principle, subsidised diesel prices will continue to be enjoyed by selected users such as freight transport companies. Meanwhile, other users will be charged with higher prices. With this approach, it can reduce subsidy wastage while, at the same time, minimising the impact on the prices of goods for the people."

Electric subsidy

This year in 2023, the government has started to implement targeted subsidies by reducing some subsidies for the top 10 percent of electricity consumers while maintaining the same subsidy for the remaining 90 percent of consumers - resulting in RM 4.6 billion savings in government’s spending.

The government will continue to refine the targeted electricity subsidy approach based on electricity consumption levels. However, the government will still bear a RM 16 billion electricity subsidy in 2023 - particularly for household users and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Monthly electricity bill rebates of up to RM 40 Ringgit to low-income households with an allocation of RM 55 million will continue. Additionally, the government has decided to waive the deposit payment for electricity bill accounts registered in the individual's name.

Budget for fixing potholes, traffic lights and road lights upgrade

In Budget 2024, RM 2.8 billion is allocated for federal road and bridge maintenance. This includes:

  • RM 300 million specifically allocated for G1 - G4 contractors.
  • A total allocation of RM 30 million will be channelled to fund services from district engineers to handle federal road maintenance involving minor and unexpected issues.
  • RM 100 million is allocated for maintenance of road lights, including replacement to LED lights. Moreover, another RM 50 million will also be funnelled to local authorities (PBT) for the same initiative.
  • RM 50 million is also allocated to maintain high-accident areas, including upgrading existing traffic lights to smart traffic lights on Federal Roads to help alleviate traffic congestion.

State governments are also urged to fully utilise the RM 5.4 billion MARRIS funding from the Federal government to ensure state roads are fixed for the benefit of rakyat.

Electric vehicle (EV) promotion, Putrajaya as a low-carbon model city

Under the ‘Towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions’ initiative, the government will continue to boost the development of the local EV industry and encourage public adoption of EV usage.

  • The introduction of Electric Motorcycle Usage Incentive Scheme that provides rebates of up to RM 2,400 to individual buyers with an annual income of RM 120,000 ringgit or less.
  • Acquisition of 150 electric buses and construction of 3 bus depots costing RM 600 million to support LRT3.
  • Extension of income tax relief for individual taxpayers on expenses related to EV charging facilities of RM 2,500 and above for an additional 4 years and extend the tax deductions for EV rental costs for another 2 years.
  • Transformation of Putrajaya into a low-carbon model city for Malaysia - installation of solar panels on government building rooftops in collaboration with TNB and Gentari, as well as the usage of EV as official vehicles for the Federal administration.

Budget for flood mitigation efforts

Next year, a total of 33 High-Priority Flood Mitigation Projects will commence, with a cost of RM 11.8 billion. Some of the projects involved include the Flood Mitigation Plan at:

  • Lembangan Sungai Pahang, Pahang;
  • Sungai Langat Fasa 2, Selangor;
  • Sungai Jelai, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan;
  • Sungai Likas, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah;
  • Kuching Fasa 2, Sarawak;
  • Baling Fasa 2, Kedah; and
  • Pembangunan Lembangan Sungai Bersepadu, Sungai Kelantan Fasa 2, Kelantan

RM 20 million is allocated to 150 PBTs to carry out repair works for damaged ditches and drains to reduce the risk of stagnant water and flash floods.

Budget for public transportation

Budget 2024 will also focus on the development of public transportation, which include:

  • RM 96 million for Dana Sokongan Bas Henti-henti to help cover the daily operational costs of bus operators who need to continue services on less passenger-populated routes in rural areas.
  • RM 150 million to continue Program Transformasi Bas Henti-henti, including expanding it to benefit Kota Bharu, Kuantan, and Kota Setar.
  • My50 monthly pass for Prasana bus and rail users will also continue.
  • RM 4.7 billion to resume the construction proposal of five LRT3 stations that were previously cancelled; involving Tropicana, Raja Muda, Temasya, Bukit Raja, and Bandar Botanik stations.
  • The initial estimate for the Penang LRT to Seberang Perai, as planned by the State Government, is RM 10 billion under the public-private partnership (PPP) method.

Budget for development in Sabah and Sarawak

Federal allocation for the development in Sarawak next year is increased to RM 5.8 billion (from RM 5.6 billion), whereas the allocation for Sabah is increased to RM 6.6 billion (from RM 6.5 billion).

“To enhance the effectiveness of implementation, the Federal Government has also delegated the implementation authority for development projects under the value of RM 50 million to the technical agencies of Sabah and Sarawak,” said Anwar.

The rate of the interim Special Grant for Sarawak and Sabah is increased to RM 300 million, compared to the previous RM 16 million for Sarawak and RM 125.6 million for Sabah - after a much anticipated revision that was last made in 1969 for Sarawak and 2022 for Sabah.

Pan Borneo Highway and Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) Phase 2

Anwar said, “God willing, the Pan Borneo Sarawak Highway will be fully completed next year. Meanwhile, the tendering process for the 19 packages of work for the Pan Borneo Sabah Phase 1b project, covering a stretch of 366 km at a cost of RM 15.7 billion, will be completed by this November.

“The Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) Phase 2 project, covering a stretch of over 320 km at a cost of nearly RM 7.4 billion, will also commence by the end of this year,” he added.

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