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Senator Datuk Fahariyah Md Nordin describes the 2018 Budget as realistic. Pic by MAHZIR MAT ISA.

KUALA LUMPUR: All strata of society, in particular women, will benefit greatly from the slew of initiatives introduced under the 2018 Budget, said Senator Datuk Fahariyah Md Nordin today.

Describing the budget as realistic, Fahariyah said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has, for the first time, placed a greater emphasis on helping young women lead a more harmonious life with their families.

“The proposal to increase the mandatory maternity leave for private sector workers from the current 60 days to 90 days, as implemented by the civil service, proves that the government leaves no one behind.

“The extra days will allow working women to be more physically and mentally prepared to get back to work after their maternity leave,” she said in a statement.

She said the move to allow civil servants who are at least five months pregnant to return home an hour earlier showed that the government cared for working women.

“This is another smart move in empowering the family institution.

“I hope that the private sector will follow suit because pregnant women need to have enough rest for the sake of their baby’s health and their own.”

She also said the government was aware of the high cost involved in hiring domestic workers from foreign countries.

“The move allowing employers to directly hire domestic workers without going through agents is very helpful, especially for those who are in need of one.

“Currently, hiring a maid would cost an employer between RM12,000 to RM18,000. The latest move will reduce cost and consequently, the money can be used for other purposes.”

Fahariyah said she believed the budget will help shape a more sustainable, civilised and competitive society.

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