Economic Stimulus Packages saved 2.75 mln jobs – Muhyiddin

Kuala Lumpur, 20 July 2020 – The implementation of the Economic Stimulus Packages (ESPs) worth RM295 billion by the government has managed to save more than 2.75 million jobs and more than 800,000 businesses, including micro and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the measures introduced under the PRIHATIN ESP, Additional PRIHATIN and the Short-term Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) aims to address the impact from the COVID-19 crisis, while simultaneously ensuring business continuity.

“More than 2.75 million jobs have been saved through the implementation of the Wage Subsidy Programme as well as the Employee Retention Programme.

“Additionally, more than 800,000 businesses, including micro businesses and SMEs have benefited from the ESPs,” he said in a live telecast on the latest update on the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), which was aired on local television networks.

Muhyiddin said to-date, 10.4 million Bantuan Prihatin Nasional recipients have received a total of RM11.14 billion in cash aid. 

Additionally, a total of RM34 million has been disbursed to 1.4 million e-hailing drivers, each receiving a one-off RM500 cash allowance; while RM28.8 million has been distributed to 477,000 taxi drivers, tour guides and bus drivers, who have each received a one-off RM600 cash aid, the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, 7.7 million consumers have benefited from the 50 per cent discount  on their Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) electricity bills, at the total cost of RM312.32 million.

A further 1.4 million users also benefited from TNB’s 15 per cent discount, at the cost of RM185.75 million. 

“About 65 per cent of households have benefited from the moratorium on loan repayments, totalling RM38.4 billion.

“In terms of assistance for entrepreneurs, 545,000 micro entrepreneurs have received the PRIHATIN Special Grant, totalling RM1.6 billion; and 7,000 applicants of the BSN micro credit scheme have received a total of RM247 million,” he said.

Additionally, 23,000 recipients have benefited from the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund’s (TEKUN Nasional) micro credit scheme, totalling RM177 million.

Muhyiddin said the government had distributed RM7.4 billion in wage subsidies to 834,000 employers, to be channelled to 6.7 million employees nationwide.

On another note, the prime minister warned that a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases would have a significant impact on the economy, as the government would have to re-enforce the Movement Control Order (MCO).

He said reclosing economic sectors could result in a loss to the tune of around RM2 billion per day, which would result in a loss of livelihood for millions of employees in Malaysia. 

The prime minister said the ESPs have contributed more than three per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year. 

“If the MCO needs to be re-enforced, one of its impacts would be that the GDP growth projection for 2021 might not be realised.

“Business activities would be suspended again and the unemployment rate which was at 5.3 per cent in May 2020 will increase dramatically, and this is a situation which we must avoid,” he added.