Accelerating an economic reset

Kuala Lumpur – 29 October 2021 – The recent budget announcement holds good potential for SMEs, according to Datin Yap Shin Siang, CEO of YYC Group, a local tax and accounting firm founded in 1974 which is one of the top 10 accountancy firms in Malaysia. As their competency is in serving the SME market, her analysis will focus on the Budget Announcements that most affect SMEs. 

Datin Yap noted that the budget is a good way to “accelerate an economic reset  and restart the economy”. Yap mentioned: “One of the most important things in a business is cash flow – it’s good that the government has introduced 3 initiatives to ease working capital requirements for SMEs, including Micro Credit Scheme, Business Financing and Alternative Financing, Bank Negara Malaysia Funds and Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. These schemes range from RM10,000 to RM 10 million in financing, and are suitable for micro enterprises to small medium enterprises (SMEs). 

Notably, on the income tax front, SMEs have the ability to defer their income tax installments up to 30th June 2022. In addition, all businesses are allowed to make tax estimate amendments for income payable in the 11th month before October 31, 2022; (previously only available in the 6th and 9th months). As for manufacturing companies, the reinvestment allowance has been extended for another 2 years until 2024. 

Yap noted: “Companies are given good incentives to renovate their premises, with a tax deduction on costs of renovation and renewal of premises up to RM300,000 until end of the year 2022, with an extension of special deduction for renovation of business facilities to comply with SOP requirements such as ventilation upgrades, customer seating and employee  infrastructure. Landlords who give a rental reduction of at least 30% are rewarded with a special tax deduction until June 2022 (extended from January 2022).

There will also be a real property gains tax (RPGT) exemption for any individual Malaysian citizens who hold property for more than 5 years. No RPGT will be imposed from the 6th year onwards, as opposed to the current 5%. 

To stimulate business activity, newly incorporated SMEs (incorporated between 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022) are given an income tax rebate of RM20,000 for every year for the next 3 years. Under the Jamin Kerja initiative, SME business owners who employ those who are not actively working can enjoy an incentive of 20% to 30% of the employee’s monthly salary. Under the PERANTIS scheme, an allowance of up to RM900 per month for 6 months for graduates and school leavers from 18-30 years old on the executive level, for those with a diploma and above will be given.”

Yap also noted: “On the individual front, the additional RM2,500 tax relief for purchase of handphone, notebooks and tablets has been extended for another one year up to year of assessment 2022. There is also further extension of tax relief for domestic travel expense of up to RM1,000 for another year. Lastly, tax relief for fees paid to child care and kindergarten of RM3,000 has been extended for another 2 years. “

Under the Keluarga Malaysia concept, it is good to see the people being allocated for. With all the tax breaks, one may wonder if the government will have enough funds – and thankfully, those companies are making huge profits above more than RM100 million, will have a one-off taxed at 33% instead of the usual 24%. 

Yap concludes: “The new realities of Covid 19 and changes in leadership in the nation has left many of us quite drained, but this new budget offers some hope that we will be able to recover quickly as a nation. I urge you to take advantage of the opportunities given to get back to work, upskill, and stimulate the economy. Notably, the government has been listening to the people, and the personal mentions of several successful startup founders during the budget announcement as well as even e-sports personalities that won international tournaments show that they are in tune with current economic developments. All in all, it is a good step towards Malaysia’s recovery, and future prosperity”.

About the author:
Datin Yap Shin Siang, CA(M), CPA (AUST), CFP, MBA (U.K), B.COM (MELB)

Group CEO, YYC Group

Yap Shin Siang, or fondly known as Shin, estimates that the firm is already in the top 10 accountancy firms by size and can rival the Big Four locally. She took over the family business, shook off gender biases, and grew a small business into a major player. Being the second generation in the family business, she has grown a team of 50 staff to almost 800 staff today. She has also tripled the business revenue since 2016, and won the attention of OCBC Bank to invest and become a strategic partner.

She has over 20 years of professional experience in public accounting, tax and business advisory. Shin is the author of two business titles and is also a frequent speaker for seminars organised by China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau, Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and various trade associations such as Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM), The Timber Exporter’s Association of Malaysia (TEAM) and many more. She is frequently interviewed by the media and professional bodies such as China Press, Bernama, The Edge, CPA Australia and etc.

She has also provided oversight on many tax investigations and tax audits with the Inland Revenue Board and Royal Malaysian Customs Department. Shin holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Melbourne, an MBA from University of Nottingham, and is a member of CPA Australia and MIA. Shin’s vision is to make YYC Group the No.1 world-class accounting firm that originated from Malaysia via innovation.

How Businesses Can Thrive In This Endemic

As of October 2021, 90% of Malaysian adults have been fully vaccinated and it won’t be long before we hit the 100% mark. Lately, we are seeing improvement in the nation’s economy as well as the increase of consumer spending as malls, shops, eateries, and services are reopening. This is indeed great news for business owners and SMEs who are slowly gearing up to welcome their customers once again. 

Back in January 2021, EcoWorld and iMedia joined hands and initiated the Bina Bersama 2021 project to support small businesses and start-ups by giving shortlisted SME candidates a total of RM1 Million* worth of digital media value. Since then, the Bina Bersama 2021 programme had a 90% take up rate despite all the uncertainties and challenges faced by business owners during the first three quarters of the year. While the nation learns to live with COVID-19, more businesses are reopening, entrepreneurial projects are taking place, and even construction and renovators are starting their engine to contribute and benefit Malaysia’s economy from here on. With that said, Bina Bersama 2021 is still looking to aid new or existing SMEs before the end of 2021.

Whether you are an existing SME business owner or a soon-to-be entrepreneur, this is the best time to begin and realise all your plans and strategies that have been put on hold during the lockdown. Don’t miss this chance to be a part of Bina Bersama 2021 where you can advertise your products and services online for FREE through iMedia’s brands and platforms such as Oh! Media, Goody25, Newswav, ITTIFY and more – all of which, have over 2.9 million unique visitors in total!

As much as it is important to have the best ideas and plans for your business, a strategic location for your office or shop is equally crucial. EcoWorld’s 13 highly accessible commercial properties in the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia, and Penang are some of the most sought locations where you can begin your entrepreneurial journey. By leasing or purchasing any of these units, you will be eligible to participate in the Bina Bersama 2021 programme.

With some successful participants such as Joyous Kiddy Education, Hey Hey Eyewear, and Wheel Riders Malaysia entering this meaningful partnership, EcoWorld hopes that they can continue to inspire more SMEs and local businesses to take a step and build their online presence with Bina Bersama 2021. This is a rare and great opportunity to spread awareness for your products, services and business.

“The Bina Bersama campaign has proven to be a terrific initiative. The campaign’s objective and goals are aligned with EcoWorld’s aim to provide more value for our customers. Marketing is a vital component to kickstart any business and this program provides that avenue, as well as act as a boost for business owners to be confident and take advantage of the recovering economy.” – said Dato’ Chang, President and CEO of EcoWorld Malaysia. 

“We are delighted to have EcoWorld on board our Bina Bersama campaign for over the past 10 months. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand the challenges one goes through during tough economic situations and this is our way of giving back to local businesses with the media assets we have. EcoWorld has been a great partner for this campaign and we look forward to more positive collaborations with them in the future.” – said Voon Tze Kay, Founder and CEO of iMedia Asia.  

EcoWorld and iMedia Asia would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants of the Bina Bersama campaign. We hope that the digital online media advertisements provided to local SMEs have eased their burden and they were able to spend their time to think of other business opportunities instead.  

With the year ending in just a few more months, we would like to encourage entrepreneurs and small-medium business owners to join the amazing Bina Bersama 2021 programme and make the most out of the remaining ad grant that will allow your business to have a better presence in the digital world. In summary, EcoWorld isn’t just a developer who builds homes, but also one that helps their customers by providing opportunities for SMEs to grow and improve as EcoWorld believes that ‘Together We Create’ a better tomorrow for the community and FOR GENERATIONS. 

Grab the final opportunity to start your business today! Hurry and register your interest now at

*Terms & conditions apply.

LaLiga Santander Matchday 12 preview:The Basque Derby between Real Sociedad and Athletic Club takes centre stage

The midweek round of goals and dramatic LaLiga Santander action is over, but there’s another dose of top-flight Spanish football coming up straight away as Matchday 12 takes place this weekend. There are several fascinating games, from Valencia CF and Villarreal CF’s derby to FC Barcelona’s first match of the post-Ronald Koeman era to the first Basque Derby of the season. It promises to be a thrilling weekend of football in Spain’s top flight.

The first match of the round is Real Madrid’s trip to take on Elche CF at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, a stadium where the Franjiverdes held the Blancos to a draw last season. That is the early game on Saturday, at 14:00 CEST, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side looking to get back to winning ways after being held to a midweek draw at home to CA Osasuna. Meanwhile, Elche CF will hope to catch Real Madrid napping in this early kick-off.

The next fixture is a clash between Sevilla FC and CA Osasuna, with the Andalusians boasting a 100 percent record at home so far this season and the Rojillos having won four and drawn one of their five away matches so far. It’ll be interesting to see whether the excellent home record or away record is extended.

A big derby match then follows, with Valencia CF taking on Villarreal CF at Mestalla on Saturday evening. These two clubs have had disappointing starts to the season, so will be targeting a win in this hotly anticipated Valencian Community clash to jumpstart their campaigns.

FC Barcelona then return to action at 21:00 CEST on Saturday night for their first match since the sacking of Ronald Koeman. That came when the Blaugrana lost a second match in a row in midweek, falling to Rayo Vallecano after also losing ElClásico three days earlier. The fans at the Camp Nou will expect a response from the players, now led by caretaker coach Sergi Barjuán, as they host a Deportivo Alavés side who have won their past two games. There is great expectation as a new era kicks off at Barça.

On Sunday, Cádiz CF will look to get back to winning ways after a series of disappointing results when they host RCD Mallorca in the first match of the day. Likewise, champions Atlético Madrid are hoping to bounce back from two 2-2 draws in a row when they host a high-flying Real Betis side that actually come into this fixture with more points. Diego Simeone has enjoyed eight wins and one draw from the nine times he has coached in this fixture, although he’ll have to experience his 10th home match against Real Betis from the stands due to a suspension.

Getafe CF then take on RCD Espanyol in southern Madrid, with the Azulones still searching for their first victory of the season. They came so close to claiming it in midweek, only for a 97th minute goal to deny them the three points and leave them with just a point from their trip to Granada CF. Against one of his former clubs, new Geta coach Quique Sánchez Flores will hope to achieve that much-needed first victory.

Then comes the game that takes centre stage in Matchday 12, the first Basque Derby of the season. It’s Real Sociedad vs Athletic Club under the Reale Arena floodlights, with so much on the line given that La Real come into this fixture as league leaders. Athletic Club will be determined to take three points from their rivals’ home to knock them off top spot and dent the Txuri-Urdin title challenge, as they did back in 2002/03, the last time Real Sociedad mounted a serious title challenge. This fixture is always special and this Sunday’s game should be no different.

On Monday, there are two more matches in Spain’s top flight, with Rayo Vallecano looking to keep up their 100 percent home record in the first of them. The team from Vallecas have won all five of their matches played so far in the Madrid neighbourhood, including Wednesday’s victory over FC Barcelona, and now they’ll host RC Celta Vigo this Monday evening. That’s before Levante UD vs Granada CF concludes the matchday, with both these sides entering the weekend inside the bottom four and in need of some valuable LaLiga Santander points.

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on BeINSports

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Real Sociedad vs Athletic Club: A Basque derby at the heart of the title race

La Real face one of their toughest challenges yet, with Athletic determined to derail their rivals’ title challenge.

Real Sociedad have enjoyed an excellent start to the 2021/22 campaign, responding to their opening weekend defeat at Barcelona by stringing several wins together and climbing to the very top of the LaLiga Santander standings. The team from San Sebastián finished Matchday 8 and Matchday 9 in first position, announcing their title candidacy after several seasons of evolution under coach Imanol Alguacil.

This weekend, though, Real Sociedad have what may be their toughest test yet. They have the Basque derby against regional rivals Athletic Club on Sunday night, under the floodlights at 21:00 CET. It should be a special occasion in front of their home fans at the Reale Arena.

The side from Bilbao have had a good start to the season too and are just a few points behind the title challengers with a quarter of this LaLiga Santander campaign in the books. Marcelino has built a solid team in his 10 months on the job and they have only lost one match so far this season. If Athletic had turned some of their draws into victories, they too would be pushing for first position in the table.

With both Basque sides so high up the table, this will be one of the most important Basque derbies in several years. Real Sociedad fans are starting to dream of a first LaLiga Santander title since their back-to-back championships of 1980/81 and 1981/82, while Athletic Club supporters are convinced that this is the season they’ll return to Europe after a four-year absence.

Historically, this fixture has often been at the heart of the title race. The last time La Real were serious title challengers, in 2002/03, Athletic Club thrashed their rivals 3-0 in Bilbao when La Real were top of the standings, with this result ultimately costing the Txuri-Urdin and allowing Real Madrid to sneak that year’s championship by two points.

Spooling further back, to when Spanish football was dominated by these two clubs at the start of the 1980s, Real Sociedad won the league title in 1981/82 by defeating Athletic Club 2-1 on the final day of the season, before Athletic Club earned a 2-1 title-clinching derby win of their own two years later.

This weekend’s match won’t be so decisive, whatever the result is, as there is a long season still ahead. But, this might still be the Basque derby with the greatest title race implications in several years.

Athletic Club’s motivation for revenge

The players will be well used to the pressure, given that arguably the most important Basque derby ever took place earlier this year. On April 3rd of 2021, Athletic Club and Real Sociedad met at La Cartuja in Seville for the 2019/20 Copa del Rey final, a showdown that had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. That only increased the sense of expectation for this huge derby final.

Neither team wanted to lose, but somebody had to and, with Mikel Oyarzabal’s penalty proving to be the only goal of the game, La Real won the cup to end a trophy drought that had lasted since 1987.

Athletic Club will want some revenge for that heartbreaking loss when they take on their historic foes this weekend. They actually had a rematch just days after the cup final, which finished 1-1, but now Los Leones will relish the opportunity to deal Real Sociedad’s title aspirations a significant blow.

Besides the potential for revenge, Athletic Club will want to triumph in this weekend’s derby so that they can remember the winning feeling as they haven’t tasted victory in any of the past four matches against La Real. In addition to the draw and cup final defeat of April, Athletic Club lost the previous two Basque derbies. Not since August of 2019 have they won one. For the fans in Bilbao, that’s too long.

Familiar faces on both sides

While Real Sociedad and Athletic Club’s rivalry is one of the biggest in LaLiga Santander, there is always great respect between these teams and the players. Even if it’s still quite rare, at least at the senior level, some players even switch clubs and there will be a few participants this weekend who have experience of wearing the other colour of stripes.

In the Real Sociedad squad, starting goalkeeper Álex Remiro moved directly between Bilbao and San Sebastián in 2019, signing with La Real after his contract at San Mamés expired. He’ll know the Athletic Club forwards well and will hope to put his inside knowledge to good use.

As for Athletic Club, they pulled off a coup in the winter window of 2018 by signing Iñigo Martínez from their rivals through the triggering of the star centre-back’s release clause. That didn’t sit well with fans of the Txuri-Urdin, nor does the fact that current Athletic Club players Alex Petxarroman, Yuri Berchiche, Mikel Balenziaga and Dani García have Real Sociedad pasts too. 

This Sunday night, though, it’s all about the current colours as the blue and white stripes of Real Sociedad take on the red and white stripes of Athletic Club.

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