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Monday, December 31, 2018

The policies that will start and end in 2019



Malaysia enters 2019 with some 20 policies that will be implemented or discontinued by the seven-month-old Pakatan Harapan government.
While certain initiatives introduced by the previous BN administration will be abolished, many programmes deemed beneficial to the people – particularly those in the bottom 40 percent (B40) income group – are set to continue after being rebranded.
This includes the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), which was renamed Cost of Living Aid (BSH), which will see households with an income of less than RM2,000 receiving RM1,000 in 2019.
First-time owners from the B40 group stand to benefit from the RM1 billion housing fund set up under Bank Negara for properties priced up to RM150,000.
Stamp duty for properties priced between RM300,000 and RM1 million will also be waived. 
The National B40 Protection Scheme for those in the group will cover 36 illnesses, with recipients getting up to RM8,000 disbursement. 
Those from the B40 with cars below 1,500cc and motorcycles below 123cc will petrol subsidies of 30 sen per litre when they fill up with RON95.
Just last week, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the return of the weekly managed float for fuel, but with a cap of RM2.20 per litre for RON95, and RM2.18 per litre for diesel. 
The Harapan government also aims to ease motorists' burden by freezing toll hikes for all highways, along with abolishing tolls for the Penang Bridge, Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, and the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link. 
Public transport users, meanwhile, will benefit from the RM100 unlimited transit pass for all rail services, as well as the RM50 pass for RapidKL bus services. 
Putrajaya also announced that smoking will be banned at all outdoor eateries beginning next year, despite objections from smokers and restaurant operators.
The minimum wage nationwide will be standardised to RM1,100 – an increase of RM100 for Peninsular Malaysia, and RM180 for Sabah and Sarawak.
They also need to foot the RM10,000 levy for migrant workers who have been in the country for over a decade. 
By June 1, 2019, a departure levy for all outbound travellers will be collected to encourage domestic tourism. Those travel to Asean countries and outside Asean will be charged RM20 and RM40 respectively.
Entertainment outlets in Kuala Lumpur have been warned to abide by the 1am closing time, with Selangor considering a similar move. 
Primary school examinations for Years One to Three will be scrapped in favour of a more objective assessment method. 
The Education Ministry's ruling on black school shoes will begin to be implemented in the coming semester, and be fully enforced by 2021.
The ministry will also allow stateless children – including refugees – to study at national schools next year. 
Sweetened beverages will be hit by a 40sen per litre 'soda tax' by April. 
Putrajaya also modified the RM20 free electricity initiative given to all households to RM40 for e-Kasih recipients.
Similarly, the Selangor government will give 25 cubic meters of free water to those in the B40 group, as opposed to all households which enjoy free water at present.
Putrajaya will discontinue the Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050 (Adam50) next year on the grounds that not many applied for the RM200 unit trust.
The Selangor state government will also terminate the Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor, better known as Tawas, next year.
And finally, Tabung Harapan – which the government launched for donations to help ease the country's debt burden – will cease collection tonight.  - Mkini

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