Govt announces RM600 aid for workers on no-pay leave

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin at a press conference in Putrajaya March 16, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin at a press conference in Putrajaya March 16, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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PUTRAJAYA, March 16 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced a special RM600 monthly aid for workers on no-pay leave, for a period of six months.

In a press conference after chairing the first Economic Action Council (EAC) meeting here, Muhyiddin said that the initiative is for those with an income not exceeding RM4,000 per month.

“In the meeting today, it was agreed that additional steps would be taken to strengthen the economic stimulus package (PRE2020), as follows:

“First is cash aid to help workers who are forced to take no-pay leave. RM600 for each worker, every month, for a maximum period of six months. Applies for workers who were given no-pay notice beginning March 1, 2020. Applies for Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) with a pay not exceeding RM4,000 a month,” Muhyiddin said.

The PRE2020 will have three main thrusts: mitigating impact of Covid-19, spurring people-centric economic growth, and encouraging quality investments in the country.

Among key measures announced are a one-off RM600 cash handout to public transport workers, a monthly special allowance of RM400 for medical doctors and health workers, and RM200 for immigration officers.

Sectors given focus are small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and tourism, those deemed to be most impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has claimed over 2,000 lives in China from where the novel coronavirus originated.

Then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also announced a 15 per cent discount on the electricity bills for tourism agencies, hotels and carriers in a bid to boost tourism, among others, while hotels will be exempted from the new tourism tax and staff insurance contribution.

For SMEs, RM2 billion will be injected into a special assistance fund to provide low-interest rate loan while Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) will provide RM200 million worth of microcredit at a 4 per cent interest rate.

Malaysia’s economy registered a healthy 6.5 per cent growth at the height of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in the third quarter of 2003, following a RM8 billion stimulus package that Dr Mahathir unveiled as then prime minister.

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