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Pleasant surprises in Budget 2020 on wellbeing, especially for women

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Harizah Kamel, Pleasant surprises in Budget 2020 on wellbeing, especially for women, «The Malaysian Reserve», 14 October 2019, p. 8.
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  Provided for client's internal research purposes only. May not be further copied, distributed, sold or published in any form without the prior consent of the copyright owner. by HARIZAH KAMEL TH few surprises and allocations announced in Budget 2020, particularly schemes and programmes that are dedicated for women, have been receiving positive feedback and good impression from various parties. The National Council of Women's Organisation education committee co-chairperson Dr Sharifah Syahirah Syed Sheikh said Budget 2020 is considerate towards women's well-being by introducing more incentives to encourage women to earn and return to the workforce. However, she said it is rather inaccu-rate to say that only 52% of women are working when what it really meant was, the percentage only represents those who are earning. She also lauded the plan of ensuring all mothers to receive 90 days' leave instead of 60 days, but the government needs to urge all employers to adopt the family-friendly policy. Most private sector, and sadly the government-linked companies still refused to follow the government's pol-  = icy of giving 90 days maternity leave. I hope fathers too get more paternity leave, as mothers need their husbands during the confinement period, she said. As for the RM30 million allocation for nurseries, Sharifah Syahirah said the quality childcare centres are needed and they must be equipped with qualified caretakers, basic facili-ties and food supplies. Regarding the i-Suri programme for full-time housewives, Sharifah Sya-hirah said that although 2% is still small, it is a good start. Under the i-Suri programme, husbands have the option to voluntarily contribute 2% of their monthly 11% Employees Provi-dent Fund (EPF) remittance to their wives' i-Suri accounts. The government recently announced that the study on making it mandatory would take three years. Sharifah Syahirah added that the allocation of RM10 million for the government's Rahmatan Lil-Alamin initiative is a good move. I hope there will be a substantive allocation from RM10 million to revisit and train religious officers as well as the Muslim society on women's rights, as well as to eliminate all discrimina- Pleasant surprises in Budget 2020 on wellbeing, especially for women government. Low female labour participation rate has been identified as one of the key constraints to achieving a higher level of growth and development for the country tory teaching and practices, she said. Earlier last year, the United Nations-committee of Women Conven-tion gave negative concluding remarks on Muslim women's status as being two steps backwards due to the patri-archal and discriminatory interpreta-tion of Islam. Sunway University Business School economist Prof Dr Yeah Kim Leng said that the theme — Driving Growth and Equitable Outcomes towards Shared Prosperity — is manifested schemes that particularly help ease the cost of living for the low-income groups. On bringing women back into the workforce, Yeah said low female labour participation rate has been identified as one of the key constraints to achieving a higher level of growth and develop-ment for the country. The Institute for Democracy and Eco-nomic  ffairs  senior fellow Dr Carmelo Ferlito said the message to enhance Malaysia's digital economy is good for the people but it comes with a new dig-ital tax, which seems contradictory. It will depend on how the economic environment will react to the combina-tion of incentive schemes and the new digital tax, he told  he  Malaysian Reserve Ferlito is in favour of the accent on education, the opening of the housing market and the attempt of being inclu-sive, particularly towards women who might have temporarily left the work-force to become mothers and wish to come back. On the Rent-to-Own scheme, Ferlito also said it can present some opportuni-ties but at the same time, people should avoid getting overexposed with debt. I understand the desire to help first-time homebuyers, but providing easy credit to those who cannot afford the 10% down payment is putting them more at risk of financial instability in the long run instead of helping them. The same goes for the youth finan-cing as the desire to help them pur-chasing a house should not be stronger than the imperative of avoiding over-exposure, he said. The extent of carrying out Budget 2020 coherently and free from any forms of misconduct practises for the wellbeing of the people remains vital. tion is exciting and welcomed. The  AUTHOR: HARIZAH KAMEL SECTION: NEWS PAGE: 8 PRINTED SIZE: 392.00cm² REGION: KLMARKET: Malaysia PHOTO: Full Color ASR: MYR 4,116.00 ITEM ID: MY0037556147 Page 1 of 2 14 OCT, 2019 Pleasant surprises in Budget 2020 on wellbeing,especially for women The Malaysian Reserve, Malaysia  Provided for client's internal research purposes only. May not be further copied, distributed, sold or published in any form without the prior consent of the copyright owner. SUMMARIES THE few surprises and allocations announced in Budget 2020, particularly schemes and programmes that are dedicated for women, have been receiving positive feedback and good impression from various parties. The National Council of Women'sOrganisation education committee co-chairperson Dr Sharifah Syahirah Syed Sheikh said Budget 2020 is considerate towardswomen's wellbeing by introducing more incentives to encourage women to earn and return to the workforce.  AUTHOR: HARIZAH KAMEL SECTION: NEWS PAGE: 8 PRINTED SIZE: 392.00cm² REGION: KLMARKET: Malaysia PHOTO: Full Color ASR: MYR 4,116.00 ITEM ID: MY0037556147 Page 2 of 2 14 OCT, 2019 Pleasant surprises in Budget 2020 on wellbeing,especially for women The Malaysian Reserve, Malaysia
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