Malaysia's Budget speech to start earlier

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak observing last-minute preparations for the 2018 Budget that he will present today. With him is Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani (in foreground). Datuk Seri Najib said he will start his speech 30 minutes
PHOTO: BERNAMA

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak observing last-minute preparations for the 2018 Budget that he will present today. With him is Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani (in foreground). Datuk Seri Najib said he will start his speech 30 minutes earlier, at 3.30pm, so that it would not cut into the evening Islamic prayer time of Maghrib at about 7pm. "The Maghrib prayer hours are fixed and cannot be changed, but the timing of my speech can be changed as it is not enshrined in the Constitution," he told a briefing for news editors, as reported by The Malay Mail Online news site. The move deviates from decades of convention by previous finance ministers, who all began addressing the nation with their Budget speeches from 4pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysia's Budget speech to start earlier'. Print Edition | Subscribe