On Friday 5 June 2020, Prime Minster Muhyiddin Yassin held a special address to announce a short-term economic recovery plan for Malaysia in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and after three months of the Control Movement Order (MCO).
In addition to the stimulus packages announced previously, the PM announced a new economic package (named PENJANA) with a total of 40 policies to benefit the economic sector. The three main purposes of PENJANA, according to the PM, are: to empower the people, to propel businesses, and to stimulate the economy.
Here’s all you need to know.
1. The salary subsidy initiative announced in the previous stimulus package will be extended for another three months. Sectors such as the tourism sector that were ordered to closed during the MCO can now also apply for the subsidy, provided that their employees meet the criteria.
2. Companies will be given cash incentives for hiring those who are currently unemployed, especially youths. These will come in the form of a RM800 salary subsidy for each employee below 40 years of age. For employees above the age of 40 and those classified as OKU, the subsidy is RM1,000 and will be valid for 6 months.
3. Further, in order to enhance the employability of those currently jobless, those affected can apply for a RM4,000 training allowance from PERKESO, even if they are not part of the employment insurance scheme.
4. To further tackle the problem of youth unemployment, the government will also launch a RM600 subsidy for companies that offer apprenticeships to fresh graduates and school leavers.
5. Tax relief for employers that provide benefits for employees to work from home (such as cellphones, laptops, and tablets).
6. A new public transport incentive was also announced. Malaysians need only pay RM30 per month for a pass that entitles them to unlimited travel on public transport.
7. Over 300,000 persons classified as OKU and single mothers will receive a one-off cash aid of RM300.
8. Free 1GB Internet for all users from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until 31 December 2020. Note that the free Internet is mainly for access to education websites and video conferencing sites.
9. In order to encourage Malaysians to shop online, the government will also launch the Shop Malaysia Online campaign. This will be done via the distribution of promotion codes and vouchers via e-trading platforms.
10. For the tourism sector, Bank Negara will be announcing a few incentives in July to help transform the industry.
11. The purchase of PPE and cost of COVID-19 screening will be covered in the form of tax relief.
12. There will also be concerted efforts to promote local products in the coming months on online platforms.
13. A RM50 e-wallet incentive was also announced. The PM iterated that this incentive may come in the form of vouchers, cashback or discounts, based on the e-wallet company in question.
14. Various tax relief options and incentives were also announced for home and property purchases.
15. There were also tax relief incentives for businesses operating in the tourism sector, including a full tax exemption from July 2020 till Jun 2021, including the exemption of service tax for accommodation businesses.
There were also more incentives that were announced as part of PENJANA, but these are mainly the ones that affect a majority of us. We will furbish this article with more details as they become available.
The PM acknowledges that the economic outlook at the moment is quite bleak, based on forecasts and projections from various bodies. However, he hoped that Malaysians would stay strong and overcome this crisis together.