In a special announcement on the 28th of June, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the latest aid package for the country - Pemulih. This eighth assistance package is worth about RM150 billion is predominantly aimed at continuing the Prihatin Rakyat agenda, supporting businesses, and accelerating the vaccination of the nation.
Without further elaboration, here are the highlights:
1. The Prihatin Rakyat Agenda
- The government promises to distribute RM100 to RM1,400 through Phase 3 of the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) in September.
- 11 million households, senior citizens, and singles in the B40 and M40 income groups will be entitled to RM4.6 billion worth of Bantuan Khas COVID-19 (BKC) in the form of cash handouts:
- Poor households - RM500 in August and November & RM300 in December.
- Poor single individuals - RM200 in August and RM300 in November.
- B40 households - RM500 in August and RM300 in December.
- B40 single individuals - RM200 in August.
- M40 households - RM250 in August.
- M40 single individuals - RM100 in August.
- Those who became unemployed or lost their sources of income are entitled to RM500 in October based on their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation’s (SOCSO) data this year.
- Fresh graduates and employees in the informal sectors who are not registered with SOCSO can register with MyFutureJobs and receive an RM300 allowance.
- All members of Parliament (MPs), including those in the opposition party, are eligible to receive RM300,000 to provide food aid to help their constituencies.
- RON95 petrol, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is subsidised up to RM6 million will not have any changes to its prices.
- RM1 billion will go to locking the price of 5kg of cooking oil at RM30.
- RM15 million will go to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to aid with psychosocial issues in the community.
- There will be electricity bill discounts between 5% and 40% until September based on individual electric usage with a maximum limit of 900kW per hour - the highest being 40% off for those using less than 200kW per hour per month.
- A six-month automatic moratorium for all borrowers. The bank will automatically approve this after receiving borrowers’ applications from 7th July 2021.
- RM10 million will be allocated to implement the food basket initiative, especially for the Orang Asli.
2. Business support
- The government will be providing RM600 in subsidies for every 500 employees under each employer for four months.
- RM100 million will be allocated for those in the entertainment sector, including musicians, actors, artists, and production crews.
- RM1,500 cash handout will be given over the course of three months to 20,000 disabled people who have lost their jobs or sources of income.
- Entrepreneurs with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) loans will receive a three-month moratorium or can extend their loan period for up to 36 months. This 30% discount for tenant premises will also be extended until the end of the year.
- EPF withdrawals will be allowed under a new i-Citra programme. Members can withdraw up to RM5,000 at a rate of RM1,000 over five months.
- All individual borrowers can opt-in for a six-month moratorium on the bank loans.
- All National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers will be able to opt-in for a loan moratorium of three months.
- RM500 million is allocated to telecommunication companies for the agreement to extend the 1GB of daily free data until the end of the year.
- An additional RM500 will be given to eligible recipients under the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) 3.0 initiative.
- RM18 million is allocated for local banks to provide about 30 units of mobile banks in Peninsular Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).
3. Accelerating the vaccination
- RM400 million will be allocated to increasing the vaccine supplies within the country.
- RM200 million will go to opening up new vaccination centres and improve outreach programmes.
- Vaccination centre volunteers will get increased allowances from RM50 to RM100 per day.
- Healthcare professionals at vaccination centres will also receive an additional RM600 in allowance for six months.