BUTTERWORTH: Rehabilitating old government buildings and addressing living costs concerns are among the key thrusts in the proposed Budget 2020.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said the previous government had neglected old public buildings in the country, such as schools, fire stations, police beat bases, government complexes and public hospitals.
“There have been 15 years of neglect, so we have to do something,“ he said after handing out Jalur Gemilang flags to residents at his Bagan parliamentary constituency.
Although the maintenance and rehabilitation costs are expected to be high and, in some instances, higher than constructing new buildings, the ministry would provide allocations for them to be salvaged, Lim said.
He also said addressing living cost concerns remain a primary objective under the Budget and the government hopes to put more money in the hands of consumers to drive up domestic consumption rate.
He pointed out that Bank Negara has loosened regulations on affordable housing loans for its RM1 billion Affordable Housing Fund.
There are also more incentives for the low-income group to get healthcare insurance coverage under the MySalam scheme.
Asked about major contractors making collectively bid for government projects, Lim said such tactics should be disallowed.
He said those with evidence of such practices should lodge reports with the Works Ministry, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
“There is a need for contractors to understand that the country embraces the fair competition to enable competitive bidding as it saves costs,” he added.