A week after the implementation of the MCO and CMCO in several areas, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today (18 January 2021) unveiled another financial stimulus package. Codenamed PERMAI, the package consists of RM15 billion in aid and is aimed at softening the financial impact of the second round of MCO in several areas.
Here, we’ve summarised the announcement by the PM as best as we can. This is because we expect more details to be unveiled later.
1. RM800 million allocated to KKM and approximately RM200 million to MKN and related agencies. This is mainly for the supply of reagents and screening equipment such as PPE
2. Vaccination programme is on track. 3 agreements in place. First supply to arrive end of February. RM3 billion allocated for this initiative. A guideline will soon be released on the process, and national immunisation is expected to start in early March.
3. Considering the current trajectory of cases, the government will add another 3,500 KKM staff this month (medical personnel). RM150 million has been allocated for this initiative.
4. One-off RM500 payment to all health frontliners and RM300 to other frontliners, as announced previously, will be paid by the end of Q1. Monthly RM600 and RM200 allowance will continue until the pandemic is over.
5. To encourage coordination between government and private sectors, private hospitals will now treat both Covid and non-Covid patients. RM100 million will be allocated for this.
6. Screening costs for registered foreign workers in red zones will be borne entirely by PERKESO.
7. To encourage more voluntary testing, the scope of tax relief (RM1000) will now include COVID testing.
8. The payout for Bantuan Prihatin Nasional BPN 2.0 will start on 21 January 2021. This is earlier than initially announced.
9. In addition, JKM will also be offering assistance in the form of food baskets to those who require it. This amounts to around 400,000 Malaysians.
10. Grants will be given to GLCs for social initiatives.
11. There will be a special tax relief for those who have donated during the pandemic
12. As previously mentioned, those who require an extension for moratorium or loan restructuring can apply at their respective banks.
13. BNM and AKPK can offer financial advice and counselling to those who require via phone or online.
14. Up to RM1,000 will be paid early for I-Sinar Category 2 applicants. However, the application process remains the same.
15. RM2,500 tax relief for the purchase of handphones, computers, tabletss will be extended until 31 December 2021
16. The provision of 1GB free web Wifi will be extended to April 2021
17. Special telco package for students extended to April 2021 and will now include tertiary students
18. Sales tax relief for local and import vehicles extended to June 2021
19. PTPTN borrowers can apply for PTPTN moratorium for 3 months
Supporting economic continuity
20. All businesses operating during the MCO can apply for wage subsidy. This includes up to RM600 subsidy for those whose salary is less than RM4,000, limited to 500 employees
21. For those who got laid off, SIP (sistem insuran pekerjaan) will be laxed for application and you will be compensated 30% of your previous salary for 3 months
22. The government will also offer GKP Assistance to all businesses under the MCO
23. One-off payments worth RM500 to taxi, bus, e-hailing, tourist drivers.
24. For microbusinesses, microcredit scheme announced previously will be expedited.
25. SJPD to assist the private sector. Maximum financing raised from RM500 million to RM1 billion. It will now also be opened to MNCs with at least 75% local employees
26. Moratorium offered to MARA borrowers until March 2021
27. MARA businesses get a 30% discount for rent (businesses premises)
28. Special tax relief for business premises with a 30% reduction in rent until Jun 2021
29. 10% discount for electric bill until March for 6 sectors: hotels, theme parks, convention centres, shopping centres, local flight companies and tourism agencies
30. 2 sen/kilowatt/hour for all TNB users until June 2021
In addition, the Prime Minister also announced special financial aid for states ravaged by floods. Finally, he urged all Malaysians to stay safe and stick to the SOPs so that we can get through this together.