Updated: Govt announces cash assistance, allocation of 300,000 for each MP to help with food basket for people, further vaccine plans

PUTRAJAYA, June 28 – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced various forms of help including cash assistance to the people and businesses, tax incentives, subsidies for electricity bills and fuel as well as an enhanced national immunisation plan, among others amounting to RM150 billion under the Economic Recovery and People’s Protection Package.

His announcement was carried live by several local stations including the Malaysian National News Agency’s television station, Bernama TV.

Saying he understood the difficulties and sufferings of the people following the loss of their livelihoods under the prevailing MCO.3 situation that allows only essential services to operate while many other businesses remain closed, he announced continued cash assistance programme for individuals as well as businesses.

He said that the MCO.3 had to be continued due to the number of COVID-19 cases that have remained more than 4,000 daily.

He said that while vaccination was going on well and there has been a reduction in the virus cases, there had been also a spike in the variant cases and that this indicated a need for enhanced immunisation plans. He announced an additional allocation of RM400 million for vaccine purchase and RM200 million for the set up of 29 new vaccine centres as well as mobile vaccination unit and home-to-home service to boost the vaccination process.

Todate, he said the government has implemented seven assistance programs and stimulus packages with a total value of 380 billion ringgit. To date, more than 200 billion ringgit has been channeled and benefited more than 20 million people and 2.4 million businesses. The 2021 budget is worth 322.5 billion ringgit and there is still 100 billion ringgit left to be spent until the end of this year.

The total value of the PEMULIH package will be 150 billion ringgit, including the Government’s direct fiscal injection of 10 billion ringgit.

The package will provide comprehensive assistance to the people with focus on three main focuses, namely providing help for the people, businesses and improving the vaccination plan.

Following are some excerpts from the text of the Prime Minister, highlighting the assistance and incentives under the package.

  • Until the end of this year, the Government will provide direct cash assistance to the people amounting to 10 billion ringgit. 

Addition to the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat or BPR. An assistance rate of between 100 to 1,400 ringgit will be paid in September. September will also involve payments for those appealing. In total the cash assistance will amount to 4.9 billion ringgit until end of the year.

Until the end of 2021, a Special Assistance COVID-19 or BKC payment will be made with the following rates and categories:

  • First, hardcore poor households will receive assistance of 500 ringgit in August, 500 ringgit in November, and 300 ringgit in December. While single individuals in the hardcore poor category will receive assistance of 200 ringgit in August and 300 ringgit in November;
  • Second, B40 category households will receive assistance of 500 ringgit in August and 300 ringgit in December. While singles in the B40 category will receive assistance of 200 ringgit in August; and
  • Third, M40 category households also enjoy assistance of 250 ringgit, while singles in the M40 category will receive 100 ringgit in August.

The special BKC grant is expected to benefit more than 11 million households and individuals from the elderly to singles with an allocation of 4.6 billion ringgit.

Income Loss Assistance. In October, a total of 500 ringgit will be channeled to employees who lose income based on EPF or SOCSO data in 2021. This assistance is expected to benefit up to 1 million members involving financial implications of 500 million ringgit.

The Government will also extend the Job Seeking Allowance to non -SOCSO contributors, especially new graduates, school leavers and informal sector workers. They can register under the MYFutureJobs platform and will receive an allowance of at least 300 ringgit.

The Government will allocate 125 million ringgit through HRD Corp to implement the Place and Train initiative under the Janapreneur program, especially for school leavers and graduates. This initiative is expected to open up opportunities for 30 thousand people to follow skills training programs with job security upon completion of training. MDEC will improve the existing programs, namely eRezeki and GLOW to help more than 20,000 job seekers in the gig economy.

In addition to the existing Food Basket Assistance program, the Government has agreed to allocate 300 thousand ringgit to each Member of Parliament, including Opposition Members of Parliament, to implement Food Basket Assistance to the affected groups in their respective areas. 

The Governmet will continue to maintain the retail prices of RON95 petrol, diesel and LPG which are expected to involve subsidies in excess of six billion ringgit this year. Next, to address the issue of rising prices for 1 kilogram to 5 kilogram bottles of cooking oil, the Government will implement a Price Control program based on the threshold value of Crude Palm Oil. Through this program, for example, the price of a 5 kilogram bottle of cooking oil can be controlled so that it does not exceed 30 ringgit per bottle.

RM15 million will be allocated to non-governmental organizations or NGOs in assisting the Government to address social issues such as mental health, homelessness, and other social problems at the community level.

A discount of 5 to 40 percent in electricity bills for three months effective July according to the use of electricity rates with a maximum limit of 900 kilowatt hours per month. Among them, a discount of 40 percent will be given to electricity consumption below 200 kilowatt hours per month and 15 percent for consumption between 201 to 300 kilowatt hours per month. 

In addition, for the affected economic sectors, especially hotel operators, theme parks, convention centers, shopping malls, offices of local tourism companies as well as travel and tourism agencies, the electricity bill discount of 10 per cent is extended for another three months for bills for October to December 2021. By providing electricity discounts to domestic and non -domestic consumers, the Government will incur an additional cost of 1 billion ringgit.

A mobile banking service was launched this month in Sarawak and Bank Simpanan Nasional will start the facility in Sabah in July. To make it easier for more people to access banking services, the Government will offer an allocation of 18 million ringgit for local banks to provide about 30 units of Mobile Banks in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, which will cover 250 rural areas and mukims. .

As for business support, the Government will channel several forms of assistance to ensure business continuity in these two phases. A total of 5.1 billion ringgit has been allocated through the GKP initiative. Recently, under PEMERKASA Tambahan, eligible recipients have already received their GKP 3.0 payment of 1 thousand ringgit about two weeks ago, and will receive another 500 ringgit in mid-July.

The government will now provide additional payments under GKP 4.0 to eligible recipients of 500 ringgit to be paid in September and another 500 ringgit in November. 2021.

The Government hopes that with this GKP 4.0 payment, about 1 million micro SME entrepreneurs, especially barber shop operators, workshop owners, bakery and cake shops, healthcare centers, etc. can reduce their monthly liabilities and help their cash flow. For micro -entrepreneurs who have yet to receive this assistance, registration will begin to open in mid-July.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Wage Subsidy Program or PSU, will continue with an allocation of 3.8 billion ringgit which is expected to benefit more than 2.5 million workers.

To assist more than 8,000 arts activists and continue to support the local arts and creative industry, the Government will allocate RM100 million in the form of financing facilities and financial assistance. These provisions include incentives for the production of works and digital content, career opportunities, skills upgrading programs, protection contributions under SOCSO as well as the procurement of products for the purpose of production on television, radio and song creation.

The Government has received many requests for the financial assistance given to childcare centers and kindergartens last year to be reintroduced. In this regard, the Government will provide Special Nursery Assistance amounting to RM3,000 to more than 4,400 nursery operators supervised by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development as well as more than 8,000 private nursery operators supervised by the Ministry of Education.

Sports industry operators and sports arena operators such as gyms, bowling, futsal will be provided a one-off assistance of 3 thousand ringgit.

To assist the disabled who have lost their jobs or unemployment, and are not recipients of the existing Disabled Workers Allowance, the Government has agreed to provide financial assistance of 500 ringgit per person for a period of three months. For that, 30 million ringgit is allocated to benefit a total of 20 thousand people with disabilities.

The Government will also implement the General Initiative Networking Program or JITU for the purpose of providing basic business capital assistance and guiding the disabled and homeless in business. A total of 20 million ringgit is allocated for this purpose and is expected to benefit more than 40 thousand individuals.

In addition, the tourism sector was one of the most affected segments during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a driver or kick-start, when the country moves to the third phase of VAT, the Government will provide one-off assistance of RM3,000 to more than 5,300 registered travel agencies.

Therefore, to alleviate the financial burden of EPF members affected by PKP, the EPF will introduce a new withdrawal facility, namely i-Citra. Through i-Citra, a total of 12.6 million EPF members can make withdrawals of up to 5 thousand ringgit with a fixed payment rate of 1 thousand ringgit per month for a period of five months, subject to the member’s total EPF savings. The implementation of i-Citra is expected to channel 30 billion ringgit to the people to meet daily needs. Members can start applying for the EPF withdrawal facility on the i-Citra online portal at icitra.kwsp.gov.my from 15 July 2021, with the first payment expected to be credited to the member’s account in August 2021.

In collaboration with the bank, a six -month moratorium will be granted to all individual borrowers, whether from the B40, M40 or T20 group, and micro -entrepreneurs. There are no more conditions such as income reduction, no review of whether you have lost your job and no more documentation to be submitted for the application. You just need to apply and approval will be given automatically. This facility is also offered to the affected SME operators subject to review and approval by the bank. Applications will open on July 7, 2021. Borrowers only need to apply and sign an agreement to amend the relevant loan terms.

A total of 1 billion ringgit has been allocated by the government to enhance the country’s vaccination programme from vaccine purchases, establishing new vaccination centres, and allowances for frontliners and volunteers.