On Monday (28 June), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a new package known as the "Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi" or Pemulih.
With the implementation of MCO after MCO, many Malaysians are finding it hard to make ends meet, and Pemulih is supposed to aid the country in these tough times.
Below is a summary of all the initiatives under Pemulih.
Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat
- An additional allocation of RM500 will be given out under the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) for the month of July. Payments to be made in stages beginning June 2.
- For the third phase of BPR, payments of between RM100 and RM1,400 will be given out in September. This includes those who have successfully appealed.
- A total of RM4.9bil will be paid out under BPR.
Several initatives offering monthly aid ammounting to RM4.6bil until the end of 2021 was announced as well. They include:
- For the hardcore poor: RM500 in August, RM500 in November and RM300 in December. Singles from this category will receive RM200 in August and RM300 in November.
- For B40 households: RM500 in August, RM 300 in December. Singles from this category will receive RM200 in August.
- For M40 households: A one-off RM250 will be given out. Singles from this category will receive RM100 in August.
Aid for loss of employment
- RM500 will be given out in August for those who lost their jobs according to the data provided by KWSP or Perkeso for the year of 2021.
- RM500mil will be channelled to 1 million people under this initiative.
Job Seeker's Allowance
- The job seeker's allowance will be expanded to those who don't contribute to Socso. This includes new graduates and informal sectors.
- Those who want to apply for this allowance can register at MYFutureJobs.
- Successful applicants will receive an allowance of at least RM300.
Additionally, RM125mil will be channeled to HRD corp under the Place and Train initiave (it comes under the Janapreneour program). Targetted group would be graduates and school-leavers.
Under this initiative 30,000 people would be roped in for training with a confirmed job placement in the end.
Allocation for MPs
- RM300,000 would be allocated to each MP, including those from the opposition.
- Funds are meant to be used for the food basket aid initiative for residents in their respective areas.
- RM10mil to be channelled for food basked initiative specifically for the Orang Asli.
- RM6bil will be allocated to maintain the retail price for RON95 petrol, diesel and LPG.
- RM1bil allocated to ensure that the price of 1kg polybags of cooking oil remains at RM2.50.
- A price control programme will be implemented based on the threshold value of crude palm oil. This is to control the price of 1kg to 5kg of cooking oil bottles.
- RM15mil will be allocated to non-governmental organisations to help with issues such as mental health, homelessness, and others.
- The government to expand on psychosocial aid through initiatives such as helplines.
Electricity bill discounts
- A discount on electricity bills of between 5 per cent and 40 per cent up to a maximum usage of 900 kilowatt-hours (kWH) a month will be given.
- This includes a 40 per cent discount for usage below 200kWH, and 15 per cent discount for usage between 201kWH and 300kWH. '
- Through these discounts, the rakyat is expected to save up to RM346mil over three months beginning July.
- Badly hit sectors including hotel operators, theme park operators, convention centres, shopping malls and tour operators will get a three-month extension of electricity bill discounts of 10% from October to December.
- Telecommunications companies will extend the 1GB of daily free data until the end of the year.
- RM18mil allocated for local banks to provide about 30 units of mobile banks in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, which are expected to cover 250 rural localities.
Aid for small businesses
- RM500 will be given out under the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) 3.0 initiative. Payments will be made by mid July this year.
- An additional payment of RM500 under GKP 4.0 will also be handed out to recipients. Payments to be made in September.
- An additional RM500 would be given out in November this year.
Aid for employers
- The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be implemented for the fourth time with an allocation of RM3.8bil.
- Through this scheme, the government will support up to 500 workers per employer with assistance of RM600 per worker for four months. This will be two months for every sector in the second phase of the National Recovery Plan, and another two months for the sectors categorised as negative in the third phase of the NRP.
- There will be no salary limit conditions. This means that employers can apply for the scheme even if their employees earn more than RM4,000 a month.
- HRD levy payments will automatically be exempted for to months for employers who are not able to operate during the lockdown.
- Employers from new sectors as a result of the expansion of the Human Resources Development Fund Act 2001 will be given a levy extension under Dec 2021.
- The PenjanaKerjaya program which is supposed to end in June will be extended with several improvements. The salary eligibility limit will be reduced from RM1,500 to RM1,200 for the “Malaysianisation” programme. This is to give employers more incentive to replace foreign workers with local workers.
Allocation for specific industries
- For the entertainment industry: RM100mil allocated to aid artists and entertainers.The allocation includes incentives to create digital art, provide job opportunities, skill development programs and others.
- For child care centres and kindergartens: RM3,000 for payment under Bantuan Khas Taska to 4,400 centres under the care of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
- School canteen operators: RM1,000 payment to all registered operators.
- Sports facility operators: RM3,000 one off payment. This includes those operating gyms, bowling alleys, futsal centres etc.
Allocation for the disabled and homeless
- An allocation of RM500 a month for three months. The payments equal to RM30,000 which will benefit 20,000 OKU.
- RM20mil allocated under the Program Jaringan Inisiatif Umum (JITU).
- New initiative called i-Citra allows EPF members to withdraw up to RM5,000 from savings. Includes a fixed payment rate of RM1,000 per month for five months.
- Members can start applying for the facility on the i-Citra online portal at icitra.kwsp.gov.my from July 15, with the first payment expected to be credited to the member's account in August.
- Six month automatic moratorium for all borrowers, regardless if they are from the B40, M40 or T20 groups.
- Borrowers will only need to apply and approval will be given automatically by the banks.
- It will be open from 7 July 2021.
Is the package enough?
In these tough times, any kind of aid is welcomed but we hope that the government is looking at the long term effects to the people and the country as well.
Initiatives such as allowing EPF withdrawals and even extending loan moratoriums may bite us back in the bum in years to come. We hope initiatives are being put together to deal with this factor as well.
In the meantime, many other groups are in need of more than just one off aid and the only way we can truly help everyonereturn to some form of normalcy is by reducing COVID-19 numbers and getting as many people vaccinated.
What else do you think should have been announced under this package? What else should be done? Tell us in the comments.