Guan Eng moots special financial zone in Penang

Bagan lawmaker urges the federal government to create a special financial zone in Penang considering that the state has a mature manufacturing industry base. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 13, 2023.

FORMER finance minister Lim Guan Eng has proposed that the federal government create a special financial zone in Penang that focuses on the northern region, like the one in Forest City, Johor.

The Bagan lawmaker said since Penang now has a critical mass with a mature manufacturing industry base, this will drive development and boost the growth of the service sector, not only in the northern region but for the whole country.

“It was reported that Penang contributed RM10 billion in state tax to the federal revenue recently. There were also reports of 436 projects worth RM22.17 billion having been approved for Kelantan and 511 projects with a cost of RM29.5 billion for Pahang.

“We do not object to the allocation given but we have to help all states and I hope the federal government will give consideration to development in Penang as this state is the country’s largest export contributor,” he said while debating the motion for the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Lim also proposed that the government raise the minimum wage to at least RM2,000 and cut corporate tax to 20% in order to reach the median monthly wage of RM4,510 by 2030.

He also put forward that small and medium enterprises with a first taxable profit of RM1 million should only be taxed at a rate of 15%.

In addition, industries should be encouraged to adopt sustainable practices that minimise raw resource waste and protect the environment.

“Industries that practise this concept should be given additional tax incentives as well as a 5%- lower-than-usual corporate tax deduction.

“If the corporate tax is cut to 20%, then those involved in the secular economy should only be charged 15%,” he said. – Bernama, September 13, 2023.

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