Cover Story: Redefining the M40IPOH: Empowering the M40 group will be among the focuses in Budget 2024, says Steven Sim.

The Deputy Finance Minister II said the middle-class needed assistance and to be empowered as they also contribute to the country's economy.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 20% of the M40 fell into the B40 category.

"They are the economy generators and workforce, and they are the ones who will spend in the local economy," he told a press conference after attending the Budget 2024 Roadshow at the state secretariat building here on Monday (Sept 18).

"We want to empower them," he added.

Sim said the other focuses of the budget included the small medium enterprises (SMEs).

"The SMEs make up about 98% of the country's economy.

"We want to help our entrepreneurs restructure and add value to their industry, and we want to see high-tech and high value industries to be brought in.

"We do not want the businesses to just prosper, but also to be healthy, strong and smart, so that they can compete regionally and globally, not just in the country,” he said.