Malaysia could have a hung parliament – what will that mean for its economy?
Regardless of the outcome, fiscal consolidation will remain a priority, although the path could be different depending on which party or alliance leads the government, said Mr Suhaimi.
In terms of government expenditure, “people-oriented” measures will continue, he said, especially the cash handout programme that has been in existence since the time of the pre-GE14 BN government.
“What we expect – as per the cash handouts – is for other assistances to become more targeted such as subsidy restructuring to a targeted mechanism from a blanket system and rationalisation of various social safety net and welfare programmes,” Mr Suhaimi added.
“We also expect the post-GE15 government to proceed with the tabling of the Fiscal Responsibility Act that was mentioned in the Budget 2023 speech.”
He said major infrastructure projects would continue, such as the East Coast Rail Link, Gemas-Johor Bahru (JB) Electrified Double Track, JB-Singapore Rail Transit Link, Pan-Borneo Highway and Sabah-Sarawak Link Road and Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Line 3.
The expectation is also for a higher share of federal government development spending to be allocated to less-developed states for basic infrastructure.
“The new federal government is expected to focus on improving the quality and delivery of essential public services, especially education, training and healthcare, as well as realising higher and quality investment flows to the less-developed states for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced socio-economic developments,” said Mr Suhaimi.
With sustainability being the buzzword, any government to be formed after GE15 will no doubt make it a key policy agenda – especially in realising the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and delivering Malaysia’s commitments to address climate change.
Key areas will include renewable energy, electric vehicles, natural disasters impact mitigation, management of natural resources and guiding and assisting society as well as enterprises in a transition to sustainability.