Home Highlight RECAP: RM250 billion economic stimulus package unveiled by PM Muhyiddin

RECAP: RM250 billion economic stimulus package unveiled by PM Muhyiddin

by Grace Sundram

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has unveiled an economic stimulus package known as package prihatin or caring package valued at RM250bil that is made to benefit all Malaysians.

The amount of RM128bil will be used to protect the welfare of the people as the remaining RM100bil will be to support businesses including small and medium enterprises.

“Whether you are a fisherman in Kukup, Johor, or a smallholder farmer in Jeli, Kelantan, or night market trader in Kuala Lumpur…No one will be left behind,” said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

As announced on March 23, the government will allocate a total of RM600mil for the Ministry of Health to hire staff (nurses especially) and to purchase equipment. He also announced that whoever aged below 55 will be able to withdraw RM500 from their Employees Provident Fund for up to 12 months.

Also announced was an allocation of RM130mil to be distributed equally to all states to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are a nation at war with invisible forces,” he also said.

Here’s what you might have missed in the Prime Minister’s speech today.

~ RM500mil for the Ministry of Health to strengthen the capability and resources of Health Ministry.

~ Additional special allowance of RM200 a month for frontliners for police, immigration, the customs department

~ RM1,600 in aid to households earning below RM4,000, with RM1,000 paid in April and RM600 in May.

~ RM200 one-off aid to students of higher education institutions who are affected

~ Free Internet from April onwards until the end of MCO

~ Government together with TNB will add an allocation of RM530mil for discounts between 15% and 50% for electricity usage up to a maximum of 600kW a month for six months from the April bill.

~ Exemption of rental payment for PPR and public housing for six months.

~ Insurance and takaful companies will set an RM8mil fund to bear Covid-190 screening test costs of up to RM300 each for policyholders

~ Govt to give one-off payment of RM500 to some 120,000 e-hailing drivers beginning April 1.

~ Govt and BNM will set additional allocation of RM4.5bil for SME and micro-entrepreneurs which will comprise of five initiatives.

~ One-off RM500 for 120,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide with an allocation of RM60mil. This is in addition to the RM600 one-off aid announced for taxi drivers that were announced in the previous stimulus package.

~ National Caring Aid (Bantuan Prihatin Nasional) involving one-off cash payment of RM10bil will be given to the M40 group, including private workers, farmers and fishermen. This includes RM1,600 to four million households earning RM4,000 and below; RM1,000 for households earning RM4,000 above; RM800 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning RM2,000 and below; RM500 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000.

~ Govt will pay the salaries borne by contractors involved in the service sector, such as cleaning services and supply of cooked food in government agencies.

~ Govt will introduce a wage subsidy of RM600 a month for three months for employers with a 50% drop in business since Jan 1, for workers with a salary of below RM4,000.

~ Govt will continue all projects allocated in Budget 2020, including ECRL, MRT2 and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) in line with its focus to ensure sustainable economic development.

~ Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) levy exempted for all sectors for six months starting April 2020.

~ Federal government premises such as school canteens, nurseries, cafeteria and convenience stores exempted from rent for six months.

~ Govt pensioners to receive RM500 one-off cash aid.

With that, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin ended his speech saying, “The situation we are now facing is unprecedented in history and this government may not be the government that you voted for. But I want all of you to know that this government cares for you. I accepted the fact that came in as your prime minister, not at the best moment. I face political, economic and health crises all at the same time. And this unprecedented situation, of course, requires unprecedented measures. So my dear brothers and sisters and the children of this beloved country. Whether you’re a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun, Orang Asal — please bear with me. And of course, my friends in the cabinet and the government, we are not perfect. But we are doing the best we can to pull through this crisis together as one nation.”

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