In November 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government announced Budget 2019 for Malaysia titled, ‘Credible Malaysia, Dynamic Economy, Prosperous Rakyat’. There was a heavy focus on creating institutional reforms, improving people’s well-being and promoting an entrepreneurial culture in the country.
This is in with national efforts to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that make up about 98.5% of all the businesses in the country.
- RM 10 million was sanctioned for non-governmental organisations and social enterprises working with underprivileged communities
- Over RM 17 billion has been reserved for the development of SMEs in 2019, under the ‘Third Focus: To Foster an Entrepreneurial Economy. This indicates a push towards initiatives like tourism, agriculture, industry 4.0, in addition to entrepreneurship.
- An income tax exemption, up to 10% of aggregate company income or 7% of aggregate individual income, has been instated for companies that donate to social enterprises. This provides a greater capital flow into interventions that can be scaled up to tackle development challenges.
- In addition to this, the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) has also recently set up a Department of Social Entrepreneurship to act as a catalyst agency for local projects.
- With the government also planning to impose taxes on imported services, the MED hopes to see this as a boost for more SMEs and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses locally.
The Malaysian government is making major strides towards providing access to funds for SMEs and encouraging the growth of entrepreneurs. With this new development, there is much public anticipation on next steps from the government to extend the same planning and focus into creating equal accessibility for the resources across the country.
Learn more about Malaysia’s social investment trends here.
Other related material on innovative financing tools in Malaysia:
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a policymaker or policy champion in Malaysia harnessing the powers of cross-sector collaboration for greater impact.
Southeast Asian Policy Lab Alumni:
- Melissa Foo, Malaysia
- Fadjar Hutomo, Indonesia
- Chrisma Albandjar, Indonesia
- Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Philippines