‘Not an easy bud­get to for­mu­late’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KUALA LUMPUR: Sec­ond Fi­nance Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Jo­hari Ab­dul Ghani says Bud­get 2017 was not an easy bud­get to for­mu­late due to the chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times glob­ally,

He said the bud­get was drafted based on the Brent crude oil price as­sump­tion of US$45 per bar­rel, which is a re­al­is­tic fig­ure amidst the ten­ta­tive re­cov­ery in global oil prices.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there is an in­crease of about 13% to the bud­get for his min­istry this year, much of which would go to­wards the up­grad­ing of rail­way lines and pur­chase of new car sets.

“We want to im­prove our ser­vices, es­pe­cially our dou­ble­track Ex­press Train Ser­vice from KL to Padang Be­sar. That is an im­por­tant stretch and we don’t have enough car sets,” he said.

Liow, who is also MCA pres­i­dent, said the min­istry wants to see im­prove­ments to the ports and lo­gis­tic sec­tor.

Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam said the gov­ern­ment will ap­point 2,600 med­i­cal, den­tal and phar­macy grad­u­ates to serve in the gov­ern­ment sec­tor on a con­trac­tual ba­sis from De­cem­ber.

He said the gov­ern­ment de­cided on the con­tract sys­tem to solve grad­u­ates’ woes of wait­ing too long for place­ments.

“We will sug­gest that doc­tors work for the gov­ern­ment for at least four years while den­tists and phar­ma­cists can work for up to three years un­der the con­tract,” said the MIC pres­i­dent.

Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk P. Ka­malanathan said he ap­pre­ci­ated the gov­ern­ment’s RM132 mil­lion al­lo­ca­tion for preschools, in­clud­ing 50 Tamil ones. He also com­mended the RM600 mil­lion al­lo­cated for school main­te­nance.

Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ro­hani Ab­dul Karim was pleased that an al­lo­ca­tion for free can­cer screen­ing had been in­cluded for the first time in the bud­get.

She said the al­lo­ca­tion would help women tackle breast and cer­vi­cal can­cer.

“Since we have the mo­bile clinic which is avail­able through the Na­tional Pop­u­la­tion and Fam­ily Devel­op­ment Board (LPPKN), it can be used for those liv­ing deep in the ru­ral ar­eas too,” she said.

Ru­ral and Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Is­mail Sabri Yaakob was de­lighted that an al­lowance for rub­ber tap­pers had been in­tro­duced, whereby they would re­ceive RM200 for three months.

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