Dear Valued Customers,

E-Newsletter April 2022Highlighting the Importance of Data Protection in Singapore

Welcome to the April edition of our newsletter! Just like that, we are already into our fourth month of 2022. We’ve had several things happening in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong over the last several weeks, and we’re here to share those highlights with you now.

 

Singapore Is Welcoming Travellers Again by Reopening Borders

Finally, the news we have been waiting for. After what seems like an extensive battle with COVID-19, we finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Singapore’s extensive vaccination program has proven to be a success.

On the heels of its success, Singapore is opening the doors to travel tourism once more. The details of this will be announced very soon as the country is relaxing its border measures. It is also removing the entry-level approval requirements needed for eligible long-term pass holders.

This will undoubtedly make it easier for expatriates to travel in and out of the country. The Lion City’s goal is to ultimately do away with vaccinated travel lanes. Travellers who are fully vaccinated from designated countries will no longer have to quarantine.

 

Employment Pass Applicants to Have New Scoring System Starting September 2023

A new scoring system will be in place come 2023 for new Employment Pass (EP) applications. Moving forward, if you are a foreign professional looking to work and live in Singapore, you will need to undergo this new evaluation process.

To pass the process and secure your EP, you must meet the new points requirements. There will be several benchmark requirements that you will need to meet in order to get the necessary scores for the system.

For one thing, there is a much higher income threshold to contend with. The new system that will be in place is called “Compass” *Complementarity Assessment Framework). More details about the new scoring system are available on the 3E Accounting website.

 

Malaysia’s Gross Investment Income for EPF Increased 7.7%

Within the first nine months of 2021, Malaysia’s EPF (Employees Provident Fund) holders received news that EPF payments might go as high as 6%. Economists are anticipating a larger dividend payout for EPF contributors.

This is welcoming news, as last year’s dividends were only 5.2%. this is made possible thanks to the 26% increase in net investment income during the first nine months of 2021. EPF is hence very likely going to declare a dividend payout of around 6%, thanks to the positive performance in the domestic and global equity markets during the fourth quarter.

 

National Economic Recovery Well Underway for 2022, Thanks to SSM

Thanks to SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia)’s new initiatives announcement, Malaysia’s national economic recovery for 2022 is going ahead as planned. SSM’s initiatives are set to boost national economic recovery this year.

Several new initiatives were announced, alongside the continuation of the existing five initiatives introduced in 2021. Many corporations have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. These new initiatives are a step forward to turn things around. The initiatives are also in line with the h Keluarga Malaysia’s aspirations to help ease the burden of corporations.

 

Overall Rise of 6.4% for Hong Kong’s Economic Growth in 2021

The last two years were not so great for Hong Kong as it watched the economy decline slightly because of Covid-19. Finally, we’re seeing a reversal of that trend. At last, the Hong Kong recorded economic growth for 2021. The good news coming out of Hong Kong’s Census & Statistics Department is that the economy is facing a positive outlook.

The figures from the Department are advance estimates of 2021’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Hong Kong’s 2021 year-on-year 4.8% fourth-quarter growth sets the pace along with a 6.4% overall rise. This signifies that the declines of the past couple of years are firmly reversing as the economy grows once again. These fourth quarter and whole year GDP figures will reflect a further revision upon announcement of the 2022-23 Budget.

 

Hong Kong Government Seeks Approval for Financial Injection for the Virus Relief Fund

Hong Kong is in need of a significant monetary boost, and the Government believes the Anti-Epidemic Fund (AEF) is the way to do that. That is why the Government is seeking approval for a $27 billion financial injection proposal.

If approved by the Legislative Council Finance Committee, the AEF is going to support a significant number of businesses and individuals. The Government is moving quickly to help secure the relief fund because it is fully cognisant of the overall effect the pandemic has had.

With a new AEF assistance rollout, communities at all levels will be supported. Especially those on the grassroots level. The $27 billion financial injection will facilitate 48 measures of assistance. It has the capacity to offer support to 750,000 individuals and 67,000 businesses.

 

Ministry of Finance in Indonesia Projecting Positive Export Performance.

The Ministry of Finance in Indonesia is anticipating some good news. The ministry expects that export performance in the country will remain strong and continue to grow moving forward. This is helped by the high demand and prices that have increased exports in January by 25.31 percent year on year (US$19.16 billion).

This positive export performance comes despite rising risks and a slowing of economic growth and global trade. Import performance in January 2022 also increased by 36.77 percent year on year (US$18.23 billion). This rise indicates that domestic consumption and production activities have continued to improve. Both the import and export performance in 2022 is expected to improve as the economy continues to improve overall.

 

350,104 New Jobs to Be Generated in Indonesia by Labour-Intensive Projects

Labour-intensive projects in the water resources sector will employ 350,104 people this year. This is the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry’s estimation.

The labour-intensive water resources sector programme in 2022 includes the accelerated irrigation water management improvement programme (P3-TIGA). This programme is worth Rp2.25 trillion. Other projects include the artificial aquifer for rainwater reservoir (ABSAH) worth Rp145 billion. The water resource infrastructure operation and maintenance programme also falls under this category and is worth Rp2.45 billion.  Funding for the labour-intensive programme is expected to reach Rp4.35 trillion in 2022.

 

That Time of The Year Again to File Your Personal Taxes

It’s that time of the year again to start filing your personal income taxes. Tax submissions for each country adhere to a different deadline. It is recommended that you check with your local 3E Accounting team if you need further clarification.

For Singapore, the deadline to file your taxes is 15 April for paper filing and 18 April for e-filing. Singapore employers will need to prepare Form IR8A and Appendix 8A, Appendix 8B or Form IR8S (where applicable). If you need help filing your income tax, contact the 3E Accounting team Singapore to find out more.

For Malaysia, the deadline to file your personal income taxes is 30 April. If you need help filing your income tax, contact the 3E Accounting team Malaysia to find out more.

For Hong Kong, the deadline to file your personal income taxes is 31 March. If you need help filing your income tax, contact the 3E Accounting team Hong Kong to find out more.

For Indonesia, the deadline to file your personal income taxes is 31 March. If you need help filing your income tax, contact the 3E Accounting team Indonesia to find out more.

 

Thank you.

 

Abigail Yu
Director, 3E Accounting Group

Read More in our E-Newsletter April 2022.