KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — As the government rolls out the Pemerkasa Plus package to help the people tide over the more restrictive movement control order (MCO) 3.0, the middle-income (M40) group has expressed hope to also benefit from the various initiatives offered under the package.
A small trader Syefriz Moniz Mohd Nizar, 47, said there was a need to consider the group in rolling out the package because the cost of living in the city is different from that in the rural areas.
“Those with an income of RM4,900 is already considered B40 in the city, especially if you have many children,” he said.
Syefriz Moniz, who had lost his job last year, said his family was not eligible to receive the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) aid and Prihatin Special Grant for his business, as his wife’s income was categorised as M40.
“Our movement to do business is limited due to the MCO so our income is not much. We are also not eligible to receive the loan moratorium,” he said.
In sharing his experience, Mohd Bakhtiar Noor, 45, who sells care products for men and women, said his attempts to seek assistance for his small business often failed since the first MCO was implemented last year.
He said although his wife’s income was in the M40 category, his own income as a small and medium enterprise operator had reduced by 70 per cent, making it difficult to repay the house and car loans and to provide for their four children.
“Right now, I have to close my business because it is not under the essential service category,” he said, adding that he was also not eligible to benefit from the Wage Subsidy Programme as the system took into account his company’s income before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.
A private sector employee, Amran Ali, 47, said despite receiving the BPR aid of RM300, he hoped the M40 group would be able to get more assistance, including the automatic moratorium and e-Wallet credit.
“I want to thank the government for the BPR aid. This will at least ease some of our burdens during the pandemic.
“However, I believe the M40 group should also receive other assistance such as the automatic moratorium for at least three months, or 50 per cent reduction in loan repayment for six months,” he said.
Housewife Norlee Sapari, 51, said it was unfortunate that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) i-Sinar facility was not continued under the Pemerkasa Plus package.
“My husband works as a driver and his income was not fixed. I really hope the government will consider extending the i-Sinar withdrawal period for at least another three months,” she said.
Under Pemerkasa Plus package, households earning below RM2,500 would receive an additional BPR aid of RM500 and households earning between RM2,501 and RM5,000 will get RM300.
For singles, they will receive RM100 which will be credited to their respective recipient bank accounts at the end of June.
According to the Statistics Department, the M40 households in Malaysia is divided into four categories, namely M1 (household income between RM4,850-RM5,879), M2 (RM5,880-RM7,099), M3 (RM7,110-RM8,699) and M4 (RM8,700-RM10,959). — Bernama