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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — In light of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, the government has announced an RM1 billion allocation in Budget 2021 today to aid Malaysians affected by the outbreak financially and emotionally.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said in Parliament that the special allocation will also include continuing aid for frontliners which was distributed since last March.
The allocation was announced on the same day when new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours soared to a new record of 1,755 today, with 1,199 in Sabah alone.
This is the fourth day in a row that Malaysia’s cases have reached four digits.
Wondering how you can benefit from Budget 2021? Malay Mail compiles the gist of the announcements:
1. Aid for frontliners
The government will make a one-off RM500 payment to appreciate the services of Health Ministry workers and medical officers.
This aid is targeted at 100,000 healthcare workers nationwide.
2. Tax relief for vaccination
To encourage the public to get preventive vaccinations, the government will expand the scope of tax relief on medical treatment expenses to cover expenses on vaccinations such as pneumococcal, influenza, and Covid-19.
Tax exemption under this category will be given at the cost of vaccination for oneself as well as one's spouse and children, limited to RM1,000. However, Putrajaya was not clear whether allocation would be given per person or per household.
3. Tax relief limit raised
The government will raise the tax relief limit from RM6,000 to RM8,000, which covers personal medical expenditure for serious illnesses for one's spouse and children.
The tax relief limit for the scope of health screening will be raised from RM500 to RM1,000.
The tax relief limit on expenses for medical treatment, special needs and parental care will also be raised from RM5,000 to RM8,000.
4. Emotional stress aid
Understanding the need to address Malaysians' emotional stress, anxiety and depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has allocated RM24 million for this effort through strengthening of the Mental Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Programme as well as substance abuse.
5. mySalam aid
To improve the mySalam programme, which is a non-profit health insurance scheme offering free takaful protection, the government will expand its protection to include medical devices cost claims such as stents for the heart or prosthesis.
Targeted at the bottom 40 per cent (B40) income household group, a patient who has been diagnosed with any of the 45 critical illnesses at a government, university or military hospital in Malaysia can submit a medical report to mySalam to qualify for RM8,000.
6. Social protection aid
Apart from health protection, the government also intends to expand social protection to the B40 group through the Perlindungan Tenang (Calm Protection) Voucher Programme.
Under this programme, each B40 recipient will be given RM50 vouchers as financial assistance to purchase social protection products such as takaful insurance schemes, which include life and personal accident plans.
Under this programme as well, the government will offer an extended stamp duty exemption period on all products with an annual contribution of no more than RM100 for five years up to the 2025 year of assessment.
* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.