Press Statement by Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim Chee Keong in Kuala Lumpur on 3 November 2020:
With the tabling of Budget 2021 by the Finance Minsiter fast approaching this 6 November 2020, I would like to recommend 10 suggestions specifically for the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), with special consideration for Malaysian youth and our nation’s sports sector in dealing with the scathing impact of Covid-19.
These 10 suggestions are in addition to the Unity Budget proposed by Pakatan Harapan and DAP. Even though not all would fall within the jurisdiction of KBS, these suggestions will give a direct impact to the youth and sports sector. Therefore, I hope that KBS as the ministry responsible for this sector will fight for these 10 suggestions alongside other relevant ministries.
In order to fund these 10 suggestions, the current budget by KBS can be restructured considering there are large scale programmes that may not be fully realised in the next calendar year, for example Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) that costs RM100 million and other special allocations from ‘sugar tax’ (RM30 million), ‘gaming tax’ and others.
However, if the current KBS budget is insufficient, I will fully support YB Dato’ Seri Reezal Merican in acquiring additional allocation from the Ministry of Finance to ensure the realisation of these 10 suggestions:
1) Moratorium extension for PTPN loan repayment for an additional 6 months after December 2020 and restructuring the minimum pay requirement for compulsory repayment by loanees to RM4,000.
2) Income tax exemption for the purchase of personal computers and online learning devices for two children in each household.
3) The continuation and expansion of the MalaysiaKerja initiative to incentivise employers to hire employees thus decreasing unemployment amongst youths.
4) Building affordable houses for youths through redevelopment of abandoned government land especially those associated with youth and sports facilities. These development projects can be implemented with cooperation with the private sectors through open tender.
5) Self-improvement skills incentive of up to RM500 per month for youths that take part in any programmes, courses and training involving self-improvement skills for the purposes of employment and business.
6) Expanding the RM3,000 one-off PRIHATIN Special Grant to include youths that are interested and serious in starting their own small business.
7) One-off special grant up to RM100,000 for national youth associations under MBM for youth activities pertaining to Covid-19 management, as well as an increase in activity grants for youth associations at all levels.
8) Survival funds for sports industry businesses for businesses associated with the sports and recreational industry such as gyms, futsal courts, sports therapy, coaching, sports equipment and others that are adversely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
9) One-off special grant up to RM100,000 for national sports associations and activity grants for other sports associations at all levels in order to safeguard sports development. An RM3 million allocation to Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Kebangsaan (YAKEB) to expend the safeguards and welfare for former national athletes.
10) Tax exemption for companies that give gym or sports club membership to their employees, organising and sponsoring sports programmes, in order to encourage physical and mental health.
Steven Sim Chee Keong,
Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam.