KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government officially launched the e-Belia programme today that will give RM150 in e-wallet funds to all youths aged 18 to 20 as well as full time undergraduates in Malaysia’s higher education institutes (IPT).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government’s RM300 million allocation for the programme under Budget 2021 is expected to benefit two million Malaysians aged 18 to 20 as well as full-time IPT students.

He said the initiative is also expected to encourage businesses — especially micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — to start accepting cashless payment and accelerate the shift to a digital economy.

“Please take this opportunity to support our local entrepreneurs, who are mainly youths as well. As a digital citizen, I believe you can pioneer cashless payment methods, thus encouraging other merchants to use such payment methods,” he said in his speech at the launch that was done online today.

Malaysian youth and students who are eligible for the benefit must download the participating e-wallet app from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei AppGallery.

The e-cash service providers involved are BigPay, Boost, ShopeePay and Touch ‘n Go eWallet

The credit claim period is from 1 June 2021 to 22 July 2021, and the credit can be spent until 31 July 2021.

Most of the operators will also match or offer greater amounts than the government’s RM150, in the form of credits or reward points.

Muhyiddin added that the government has always supported citizens and businesses, especially SMEs, to conduct business in the era of digitalisation, where payment transactions are made online or cashless.

He said that a Bank Negara Malaysia report showed that e-wallet transactions in 2020 have increased by 131 per cent to 600 million transactions. More merchants have signed up to receive payments via QR Code, with the number of registrations more than doubling at the end of last year.

“For youths who want to venture into the business world, I would like to share that the government has provided various funding allocations, including those focused on encouraging entrepreneurs to incorporate digital elements in their business operations. For example, the Automation & Digitalisation Fund managed by Bank Negara Malaysia,” he said.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz thanked the e-wallet operators for participating in the programme as well as Khazanah Nasional Berhad and TIME dotCom as project managers who have work hard to make this initiative a success.

He also said e-Belia would not have been successfully launched without full cooperation from the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry Human Resources, and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia that assisted the MoF in terms of communications as well as data management

“Finally, to the dear youths, don’t forget to share with your friends about this program. Take a chance of this by shopping either online or offline.

“More importantly, let's use this avenue to support our local retailers and businesses.