Since the Government has not much money, I expected the Finance Minister to push up prices of alcohol and fags to the ceiling. But that didn't happen. Cigarettes will cost about 60 sen more a pack only and the prices of alcohol remain the same. Even if the Government had increased Marlboro prices by 63 percent (which was how much the prices of diesel was increased the last time) cigarettes in Malaysia would still be among the cheapest in the region. The amount of money earned by the Government from higher prices of cigarette and alcohol could be used to improve the transportation system.
Still, the 1 per cent reduction in individual income tax makes the Budget 2009 one that's sweet for many people. Or is it?
Here's a quick guide to the 2009 Budget; and here for the economic highlights.