Govt announces PEMULIH financial assistance package
To provide financial relief for the public during the 4 phases of the National Recovery Plan (PPN), the government has introduced the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package, or PEMULIH. This financial assistance package amounts to RM150 billion, and will benefit Malaysians and businesses until the end of 2021.
Financial assistance package to aid Malaysians
On 28th June 2021, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took to a live telecast to announce the latest financial assistance package for Malaysians, which was previously mentioned along with the extension of Phase 1 of PPN.
This package will focus on 3 factors: providing cash assistance to Malaysians, helping businesses get through the pandemic, and speeding up vaccinations during the 4 phases of the National Recovery Plan.
Here are 6 highlights from PM Muhyiddin’s speech.
1. Cash assistance for households and individuals
Of the total RM150 billion budget, RM10 billion will directly aid Malaysians via cash assistance. RM4.9 billion of this will be pumped into Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat 3.0 (BPR), which was previously announced under the PEMERKASA+ Programme. One-off payment of RM500 will be credited to eligible Malaysians in stages starting tomorrow, 29th June, with another RM100-RM1,400 to be paid in September.
Another RM4.6 billion will be directly channeled to 11 million households and individuals as part of the COVID-19 Special Assistance (BKC). This will provide additional cash assistance to Malaysians from all walks of life, including senior citizens, singles, and households from different income brackets.
Image credit: Unsplash / Yong Chuan Tan
Low-income households, or hardcore poor households, struggling to make ends meet at this time will receive RM500 in August, RM500 in November, and RM300 in December 2021. Low-income singles will also receive payments of RM200 in August and RM300 in November 2021.
Meanwhile, B40 category households will receive RM500 in August and RM300 in December 2021. B40 singles will receive RM200 in August 2021. Not leaving anyone out of the financial aid, households classified as M40 will receive RM250, with M40 singles able to receive RM100, both in August 2021 as well.
Update [1st September 2021]: The BKC cash aid will now be issued in phases starting September 2021. The first phase will begin in 6th September, and is expected to complete on 10th September.
New schedule for the Covid-19 Special Aid
As further assistance, the government will provide RM300,000 to each MP. The amount will be used for the Food Basket Aid to benefit their constituents. Another RM10 million has been set aside to aid the Orang Asli community as well.
2. Job loss assistance and one-off payments for affected employees
Job Loss Assistance amounting to RM500 million will be released in stages from October 2021, with RM500 one-off payments for Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) contributors, of about 1 million individuals, who lost their jobs.
An allowance of RM300 will be provided to job seekers, fresh graduates, and informal sector workers – those considered non-SOCSO contributors – who register on MYFutureJobs as well. A total of RM125 million will be pumped into HRD Corp to “place and train” school leavers and fresh graduates under the Janapreneur programme, which will benefit over 30,000 individuals.
Image credit: Unsplash / Joshua Hoehne
One-off payments and aid will be provided to the following individuals and groups as well:
- RM500 for disabled individuals who lost their jobs or are unemployed, for a period of 3 months
- RM500 for eligible micro SMEs affected, credible in September and November 2021
- RM1,000 for all registered school canteen operators
- RM3,000 for eligible childcare centres operators and private kindergartens
- RM3,000 for over 5,300 travel agencies
- RM3,000 for sports industry and sports arena operators
- RM100 million allocated to over 8,000 individuals under the creative arts industry
3. New withdrawal facility from EPF, i-Citra
RM3.8 billion will be injected into the Wage Subsidy Programme 4.0 (PSU) under the Special Prihatin Grant 4.0 to help employers retain their employees. The grant will be open up to all – which means employers will now be able to apply for assistance for employees earning over RM4,000/month.
For 4 months, employers will get RM600 in wage subsidies for 500 employees. The government will support every sector for 2 months in Phase 2 of PPN, and 2 months for sectors that are not allowed to operate under PPN’s Phase 3.
Image credit: Bernama
i-Citra, a new withdrawal service, was also announced in PM Muhyiddin’s speech. This is expected to aid 12.6 million EPF members, who will be able to withdraw RM1,000 a month, or RM5,000 in the coming 5 months, from their EPF saving funds.
However, this will be subject to the saving amount of members. Applications for i-Citra will begin from 15th July, and can be found here. First payments will be credited in stages from August 2021.
4. Discounts on electricity bills, and free internet data
Likewise, there will be discounts on electricity bills for the public for 3 months, beginning in July 2021. This will range from 5-40% discounts, depending on electricity usage which does not exceed 900kW-hours per month. For example, 40% will be offered to those using less than 200kW-hours per month, and 15% for 201-300kW-hours per month.
For affected economic sectors, including shopping malls, hotels and theme parks, there will be a 10% discount on electricity bills for 3 months, from October to December 2021.
As we’re spending more time at home now, the government is providing RM500 million to telecommunications services so Malaysians can get 1GB free internet data per day. This will benefit 44 million individuals until December 2021.
Likewise, to control rising costs for goods, the government also aims to control prices for cooking oil and petrol during PPN, with the ceiling price for oil set at RM30/5kg.
With calls for mental healthcare increasing too, the government will allocate RM15 million to support mental health services, such as talian kasih, and NGO organisations supporting psychosocial welfare at this time.
5. Bank and study loan moratoriums
To assist anyone having to pay off loans during the 4 phases of the PPN, there will be automatic loan moratoriums for 6 months for borrowers, which will be approved once applications are submitted. This means that you won’t need to submit any documents to prove that you faced a salary cut or loss of job. Applications for this will open on 7th July.
All income groups – B40, M40 and T20s, as well as micro SMEs – will be able to apply for a loan moratorium.
Likewise, there will be moratoriums on study loans for 3 months for PTPTN and PTPK scholars, and 6 months for JPA scholars.
6. Aid for fight against COVID-19 pandemic
RM200 million has also been allocated to efforts to speed up the fight against COVID-19 in the country, and initiatives to ramp up vaccination rates. This includes the opening of 29 new COVID-19 vaccination centres (PPV), and upgrading existing PPVs.
The government also plans to introduce more drive-through and mobile PPVs, and carry out more outreach programmes.
RM400 million will be used to increase the total vaccine supply in the country too.
Allowances for frontliners under the National Immunisation Programme (PICK) will also increase from RM200 to RM600 for 6 months, beginning in July 2021.
PEMULIH, financial assistance package in Malaysia
The extension of Phase 1 under the National Recovery Plan comes as a bummer to anyone’s livelihood that has been affected by it. But in a timely manner, the government has announced PEMULIH, which will hopefully bring relief to Malaysians who are struggling at this time.
You can read the transcript of PM Muhyiddin’s full speech here.
Read more here:
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- Eateries can now operate from 6AM to 10PM under PPN: Phase 1
- Kids aged between 12 to 18 can now register for vaccinations
Cover image adapted from: Unsplash / Joshua Hoehne and The Smart Local Singapore