KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the RM15 billion economic stimulus package under the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI) to help the people in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic.
The package is a continuation to the four economic stimulus packages worth RM305 billion or 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to assist the people and businesses and to ensure economic resilience.
According to Muhyiddin, the PERMAI package is an upgrade to the existing initiatives which would be continued and to speed up the implementation of 22 initiatives based on the three main objectives; To Fight Covid-19 Pandemic, Protect the Welfare of the People and to Support the Sustainability of Businesses.
He said, the government will restructure existing budget based on the current priorities through a more prudent spending to finance the PERMAI package.
The government will also ensure all programmes announced would be implemented fast and smoothly.
According to him, the government will work its best to ensure that the impacts on the national economic environment from the declaration of emergency to curb Covid-19 is well controlled.
The government had earlier implemented four assistance packages for Malaysians namely, the Prihatin, Prihatin PKS+, Penjana and Kita Prihatain.
Among the main contents of this package is to strengthen the national healthcare system where the government has allocated RM150 million. It will recruit more than 3,500 healthcare workers consisted of assistant medical officers, paramedics, lab technicians and nurses who will be starting their work at the end of the month. As announced in the Budget 2021, a one-off RM500 cash aid will be given to all healthcare frontliners and RM300 will be given to all other frontliners. This will be paid during the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, existing monthly payment of RM600 to the healthcare workers and RM200 to the other frontliners will be carried on until the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
The government has also allocated RM100 million for private hospitals which agreed to accept and treat Covid-19 patients, to reduce the stress of the public healthcare system.
Muhyiddin also said that the first phase of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) will involve 8 million recipients. Households with monthly income of up to RM5,000 will receive RM300, meanwhile, the unmarried individuals with monthly income up to RM2,000 will receive RM150.
The Social Welfare Department will also speed up its Food Basket Programme which encompasses essential food items worth RM100 for each eligible household with an allocation of RM50 million.
To ensure that the people’s welfare is protected, the government will allocate RM25 million under the GLIC / GLC Disaster Relief Network programme as a matching grant with government linked companies to run social initiatives, including community aid involving senior citizens, homeless, OKU and flood victims.
According to him, the moratorium and loan repayment reduction will continue, including an extension of loan moratorium and repayment reduction offered by the banks. 15 banks also offered the moratorium to states involved in flood.
At the moment, more than 1.3 million borrowers have applied and received the repayment aid, with the approval rate of 95 percent for individuals and 99 percent for SMEs. This proved that the people need to worry to contact their banks if they need the flexibility in repayment.
Speaking on i-Sinar, Muhyiddin said that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will make an initial payment of up to RM1,000 for the i-Sinar Category 2 applicants. The payment process for the i-Sinar Category 2 is also easier as the applicants only need to declare that they fulfil the criteria and send their supporting documents online.
The government has also requested the EPF to simplify the process of the payment, which will be made beginning 26 January. –MalaysiaGazette