Prime Minister Announces Special Assistance Package

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the “Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (PERMAI)” assistance package worth RM15bil on Monday (Jan 18). In a special address, Muhyiddin said that the government had already announced four economic stimulus packages worth RM305bil previously.

Key Highlights include:

  • Vaccination Programme is on-track. The Government has signed three agreements with vaccine producers, and is expected to receive the first batch of vaccines by the end of February.
  • For those who will soon receive the vaccine, the guidelines and methods on receiving the vaccine will be announced soon.

  • The Government will recruit an additional 3,500 healthcare personnel who will start working at the end of this month, with an additional allocation of RM150 million.

  • The one-off provision of RM500 to healthcare frontliners and RM300 to other frontliners will be paid in the first quarter of this year.
  • The existing special monthly allowance of RM600 to healthcare frontliners and RM200 to other frontliners will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
  • Private hospitals have agreed to receive and treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients to help alleviate the strain on the public healthcare system. The Government will allocate RM100 million for this purpose.

  • SOCSO is involved in the COVID-19 Screening Test Program on registered foreign workers. The cost of screening will be borne fully by SOCSO in red zones to identify possible COVID-19 clusters at workplace.

  • The final payment of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional or BPN 2.0 will be brought forward from 21 January 2021 onwards. A total of 11.1 million recipients will receive a total payment of RM2.38 billion.

  • JKM will also implement a Food Basket Program immediately which will provide essential food items worth RM100 for each eligible household, involving a total allocation of RM50 million.

  • The moratorium facility, including extension of the moratorium and restructuring of loan repayment will continue to be offered by banks.

  • The Government has been informed that EPF will provide an advance of up to RM1,000 from the amount applied under the i-Sinar Category 2 facility.

  • A special tax relief of up to RM2,500 on the purchase of mobile phones, computers and tablets which expired on 31 December 2020, will be extended for another year until the end of 2021.

  • The provision of free 1 Gigabit data has been offered to the public to browse websites, including for educational purposes will be extended until the end of April 2021.

  • The Wage Subsidy Program 3.0 under SOCSO will be enhanced whereby all employers operating in the MCO states will be eligible to apply, irrespective of sector.

  • For a period of one month, eligible employers will receive a wage subsidy of RM600 for each of their employee earning less than RM4,000. In addition, the wage subsidy limit of 200 employees for each employer will be increased to 500 employees. This initiative involves an additional allocation of RM1 billion which is estimated to benefit 250,000 workers employing more than 2.6 million workers.

  • RM24 million has been allocated by the Government to fund the full contribution under SOCSO’s Self-Employment Social Security Scheme.

  • The Government will expand the Prihatin Special Grant Plus assistance to cover 500,000 SMEs in the seven MCO states with a payment of RM1,000 each, while 300,000 SMEs in other states will receive RM500 each.

  • A one-off financial assistance of RM500 will be provided to 14,000 tourist guides as well as 118,000 drivers of taxis, school buses, tour buses, rental cars and e-hailing vehicles, with an additional allocation of RM66 million.

  • The Government has agreed to provide a special discount of 10 percent on electricity bills from January to March 2021 to six business sectors nationwide, comprising hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices as well as travel and tour agencies.

  • In addition, electricity rebates will be given to all TNB users, domestic and non-domestic at a rate of 2 sen per kilowatt-hour, which is equivalent to a reduction in electricity bills of up to 9 percent for a period of 6 months, from 1st January to 30th June 2021.

  • The Government agreed to extend the effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations to 31st March 2021 under the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 Act 2020, or Act 829.

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