Small steps for Anwar, but a leap of faith for Malaysians after vague 2024 budget

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made serous moves on the way to bring transformation in government finances with fresh taxes and a recalibration of subsidies in Malaysia’s 2024 budget, which was revealed on Friday, but a deficiency of clarity and even contradictory policies have haunted several sectors. On paper, the subsidy and aid Bill is supposed to fall by approximate 30 per cent to RM58 billion (S$16.8 billion) from RM81 billion in 2023, besides cash handouts to the poorest 60 per cent of adults being bumped up by a quarter to RM10 billion.