Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre today. Pix by Hairul Anuar Rahim

JOHOR BARU: The tabling of the 2018 Budget this month is expected to be focused on the well-being of the people with emphasis on the cost of living and Malaysia’s economic growth.

Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the full details of the federal budget would be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Oct 27.

“The details of (the Budget) will be announced by the prime minister, but focus will be given on the people’s well-being.

“There may be focus on the cost of living and economic growth, as (the budget) will be about how we want to sustain it (economic growth),” said Irwan after attending the launch of the Bumipreneurs of Tomorrow (Bahtera) 2017 event for the southern region at Persada Johor International Convention Centre here today.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin officially launched the event.

Irwan said one of the main agenda’s of the 2018 Budget would be on entrepreneurship as the government wanted to further develop this sector.

"Of course, entrepreneurship will be a main agenda in the Budget as there will be details on new start-up companies and SMEs (small and medium entreprises). There will be a lot of focus on these aspects," said Irwan.

He, however refused to comment on whether the Budget will include any reduction of individual or corporate taxes.

On a separate matter, Irwan urged the people, especially those who deal with online businesses to be wary of false information about the country’s economy that is being spread online.

“We need to be careful when we buy or do trade online. We need supervision and must be careful and be cautious about such things.

“On the Internet, even details about the economy is falsified... They (irresponsible Netizens) also condemn the government. So, we need to filter such things.

“This is not just about business scams, but we are talking about information about the (country’s) economy,” said Irwan, when replying to a question from the press about how consumers and entrepreneurs could address the issue of online business scams.

Khaled agreed with Irwan on this matter and said that certain quarters who have falsely claimed that the government was bankrupt, were in fact, "bankrupt with ideas" as they no longer had any else to harp on.

"The government is not bankrupt, but is is them (people who spread false information) who are bankrupt with ideas," said Khaled.

On the event, Irwan said that the Bahtera launch in Kuala Lumpur two years ago attracted around 15,000 participants, and around 6,000 entrepreneurs were produced from it.

Bahtera is an event under the Finance Ministry which is in line with the objectives of the National Blue Ocean Strategy. It is implemented by the National Entrepreneurship Development Office.

The two-day event ending today, provided a platform to help entrepreneurs to venture into business and gives them knowledge about how they can expand their businesses and use the latest technology to remain competitive.

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