Movement Control Order: New Initiatives to Alleviate COVID-19 Crisis Impact

More National Economy Stimulus Package to be announced soon by the Federal Government

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PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his visit at Hospital Permai, Johor on 19th March 2020 (Image courtesy of Muhyiddin Yassin Facebook page)

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced few initiatives to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) that begun on 18th March 2020 after a meeting with the Economic Action Council as a part of an extensive economic stimulus package and people’s aid that would be announced by end of March.

Among the initiatives are enabling RM40Billion i-Lestari withdrawal for EPF (KWSP) contributors for all EPF members aged 55 years old and below from their Account 2 maximum at RM500 per month in a period of 12 months. Application would be open on 1st April 2020 and would benefit 12 million EPF (KWSP) members with approximate of RM40billion withdrawal would take place. On top of this, employees’ contributions to EPF will be reduced to 4% starting April 2020 to ensure employees are able to have the little extra to spend on necessities.

Muhyiddin advises the people to spend wisely as the EPF is meant for retirement days but are now allowed to be spent at this time of the crisis.

RM500million will be injected to the Ministry of Health as a crutch to overcome COVID-19 problems. The fund would be used for the purchase of medical and health equipment needed like ventilators, ICU equipment, more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for public health workers and laboratory necessities for COVID-19 testing. Emergency procurement has been allowed to ensure speed of retrieving the equipment.

Another RM100million for the Ministry of Health to hire 2,000 more employees on contract basis in the health workforce, mostly nurses citing the fatigue experienced by the current employees working long hours since COVID-19 hit.

Each state in Malaysia would receive an aid of RM130million during this COVID-19 crisis. The allocation aims to help hawkers and small traders, COVID-19’s patients and their family and also state workers involved in fighting COVID-19 outbreak.

PTPTN loan repayment postponement is extended up to 6 months involving RM750million that would take place immediately until September 2020.

More initiatives in a much comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package and People’s Aid are under progress, observed by the Ministry of Finance. It would be announced on 30th March and promises to benefit all.