PRIME MINISTER TAN SRI MUHYIDDIN ANNOUNCED 4 FINANCIAL INITIATIVES TODAY; 2ND STIMULUS PACKAGE TO BE ANNOUNCED ON 30TH MARCH

Published by Lavinesh @ 23/03/2020

Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin Bin Haji Mohd. Yassin

Since the nationwide lockdown on 18th March 2020, a tremendous amount of effort by the Malaysian Government has been put into protecting the nation and preventing the spread of Covid-19. It is no doubt that Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin Bin Haji Mohd. Yassin and his ministries have been doing everything with the resources available for the betterment of the country. The COVID 19 Special Task Force Secretariat for SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and Entrepreneurs has also been working closely with the Prime Minister’s office through the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in efforts to prevent the economic downfall of the country.

However, during this time of crisis, banks are still pressuring SMEs. Therefore, the Secretariat has requested for the Government to reschedule and restructure the facilities and financial obligations that the SMEs have with the financial institutions. By doing this, it is possible for companies to be able to sustain their operations and the payrolls of their staff at the very least.

The effect Covid-19 has on the economy of Malaysia, SMEs might be forced to close down

According to an interview on the Sundaily, President of SME Association of Malaysia, Datuk Michael Kang said, "If the pandemic is not addressed soon, I would say easily 5% to 10% of SMEs could be forced to close for good. This is because they don’t have the financial capability to survive. If we are looking at 10%, then up to one million employees could be out of work. Most companies only have two months of reserves to cover their operational costs. We can expect to see this happening in the next six months”.

Employee realizing the closure of the company he works in

The COVID 19 Special Task Force Secretariat for SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and Entrepreneurs asks that the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia direct the Development Financial Institutions and commercial banks to work together with the community through this time of crisis. As of now, the secretariat has started a petition on change.org, claiming more than 6,000 signatures, demanding the support of the Government. 

The COVID 19 Special Task Force Secretariat for SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and Entrepreneurs Petition for 6 Months Blanket Moratorium On All Business & Personal Banking Facilities

The COVID 19 Special Task Force Secretariat for SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and Entrepreneurs petition for 6 Months Blanket Moratorium On All Business & Personal Banking Facilities

In a press conference today (23rd March 2020), the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin Bin Haji Mohd. Yassin has proclaimed four initiatives to be carried out in hopes to lighten the financial burden that the Covid-19 outbreak has caused in Malaysia. 

 

  1. Withdrawal of "i-Lestari" through Employees Provident Fund (EPF). All EPF members under the age of 55 will be able to withdraw the mandatory savings for retirement (Account 2) for a maximum of RM500/per month, for the next 12 months, beginning 1st April 2020. A reduction of 4% to monthly EPF deductions will commence in April 2020, granting workers more allowances for their day-to-day expenditure.
  2. RM500 Mil has been set aside to fund the Ministry of Health in the effort to address COVID-19. The funds will be used to finance medical equipment such as ventilators and ICU equipment, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for public medical service personnel as well as laboratory requirements for COVID-19 screening. An additional RM100 Mil is allocated to the Ministry of Health to recruit 2,000 new staff, prioritizing nurses on a contract basis. Due to the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, nurses and hospital staff has been working tirelessly to treat the infected, with the highest of respects to them, this initiative ensures that every hospital has sufficient staff to overcome the outbreak. 
  3. RM130 Mil will be provided to all State Government in Malaysia so that each state is equipped to sustain during the Covid-19 crisis. These provisions are employed to assist small businesses which had been heavily affected during this crisis, and also to Covid-19 patients and their families. 
  4. The Government also has agreed to delay PTPTN repayments to 6 months. Over 1.5 million PTPTN loanees are not obligated to pay for their loans until 30th September 2020. 

The Prime Minister announced that a potential 2nd stimulus package is to be revealed on 30th March 2020 along with the confirmation regarding the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The COVID 19 Special Task Force Secretariat for SMEs, SMIs, NGOs, and Entrepreneurs hopes that some of the 10 pointers (www.kr8tifexpress.com/article/1292) requested to the government would be considered in the 2nd stimulus package.

COVID-19 SPECIAL TASK FORCE SECRETARIAT FOR NGOs & ENTREPRENEURS WAS CALLED UPON BY THE ECONOMIC PLANNING UNIT (EPU) FOR DISCUSSION ON THE 10-POINTERS