The Malaysian government announced on 3 November a 2019 defence budget of MYR13.91 billion (USD3.3 billion), a year-on-year decline of 10%.
The reduction means defence expenditure will decline to its lowest level as a share of the government budget since the 1980s. Spending will also fall to 0.9% of GDP having stood at 1.4% as recently as 2016, and has been cut by around 21% in nominal terms over the same four-year period.
The new budget represents the latest in a series of military spending cuts in the country, as successive governments have pursued a process of fiscal consolidation aimed at eliminating the country's budget deficit - which will stand at 3.4% of GDP in 2019 - and reducing sovereign debts.
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