KUALA LUMPUR | Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng tables the 2020 Budget today, the second under the Pakatan Harapan government since it came to power in the May 9, 2018 polls.

Last year, a total of RM314.5 billion was allocated for the 2019 Budget.

Here are the salient points of the budget, themed “Driving growth and equitable outcomes towards shared prosperity” on the Employment Category.


  • Socso protection extended to 18 categories of self-employment including fishermen, own businesses and partnerships.
  • EPF to be extended to contract for service workers and professionals, but on a voluntary basis for a start.
  • Government proposes that minimum wage be increased to RM1,200 in main cities starting 2020.
  • Employment Act 1955 review to include increasing maternity leave to 90 days from 2021, increasing overtime qualification for those earning up to RM4,000 a month, improving sexual harassments complaint system and strengthening provisions against discrimination in jobs according to race, religion or gender.
  • Introduction of Malaysians@Work programme. The programme aims to help four categories of people:
    • Graduates: Fresh graduates will be given a RM500 incentive on top of their salaries every month for two years. Their employers will be given RM300 every month throughout the same period.
    • Women: For women aged between 30 and 50 years, who return to workforce after at least a year will enjoy a RM500 incentive from the government for two years, and RM300 for employers, as well as income tax exemption until 2023.
    • Local workers: Malaysians replacing foreigners in low-skill jobs to get RM350 or RM500, depending on their sector, every month for two years. Their employers to get RM250 a month during same period.
    • Apprentices: Extra allowance of RM100 for TVET students. Double tax exemption for companies participating in National Dual Training System for two years. Tax exemptions to companies in Internship programme approved by TalentCorp.

Incentives are courtesy of the Employees Provident Fund. The government hopes create 350,000 jobs for Malaysians in five years, and to stop dependency on 130,000 foreign workers. Total allocation for the Malaysians@Work programme is RM6.5 bilion for the next five years.