Malaysia’s Budget 2020 and its Tough Balancing Act: An Economist Perspective


About the Seminar

Malaysia’s new government under Pakatan Harapan (Coalition of Hope) unveiled its second budget since it won the May 2018 general election. Its first budget for 2019 navigated the trillion ringgit debts left by the previous government’s financial scandals, the gaping fiscal hole caused by massive tax refunds owed by the previous administration and the scrapping of the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST) as promised in its election manifesto. Tabled in Parliament on 11 October 2019, its second budget has to contend with a slowing global economy and an economic landscape fraught with uncertainties wrought by the US-China trade war, Brexit and other geo-political as well as recession risks in 2020. Domestically, the Prime Minister recently launched the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 that will succeed his unfulfilled Vision 2020. The speaker will share his analysis and views on the extent to which Budget 2020, in balancing the need for an expansionary budget and belt tightening to ensure fiscal sustainability, could be a catalyst for the new vision, a solvent for past financial legacies and a balm for the people struggling with depressed wages and high cost of living.

About the Speaker

Yeah Kim Leng is a Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow at Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia at Sunway University since 2016. Prior to joining the academia in 2014, he was the chief economist at the country’s first credit rating agency for 20 years with 7 years as managing director of its wholly-owned consultancy services subsidiary. Earlier, he was a Senior Analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia which he joined after completing his graduate studies. He obtained an MBA and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Hawaii, USA. He is currently the Deputy President of the Malaysian Economic Association (MEA), a trustee of the Malaysian Tax Research Foundation (MTRF), a member of the National Consumer Advisory Council at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (2017-19) and one of the two external members appointed to Bank Negara Malaysia’s Monetary Policy Committee since April 2015.


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 21 October 2019.


Oct 23 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2