Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced those who were impacted by low tourist arrivals will be given a one-off RM600 payment.
“The government acknowledges lower tourist arrivals has negatively impacted those reliant on tourism.
“The government will give a one-off payment of RM600 each to taxi drivers, tourist bus drivers, tourist guides and registered trishaw peddlers,” said Dr Mahathir when unveiling the Economic Stimulus Package 2020.
He also said government staff who had been in the front line of the country’s Covid-19 containment efforts would also be compensated.
“As a sign of appreciation to those in the front line protecting Malaysia from the contagion, government staff directly involved in the containment efforts will be eligible for a special monthly critical allowance of RM400 for medical doctors and other medical personnel, as well as RM200 for immigration and related front line staff commencing February 2020 until the end of pandemic,” he said.
To boost local consumption growth, Dr Mahathir said several measures will be introduced, including reducing the minimum Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution by 4% from 11% to 7%. This will take effect from April 1 to Dec 31.
“This will potentially unlock up to RM10bil worth of private consumption. Malaysian workers have the option to opt out from the scheme and maintain their contribution rate,” he said.
The payment of RM200 to Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) recipients, which is scheduled for May, will be brought forward to March.
“An additional RM100 will be paid into the bank accounts of all BSH recipients in May. Subsequently, an additional RM50 will be channelled in the form of e-tunai,” he said.
The government will also introduce several incentives that could help boost local tourism.
This includes a personal income tax relief of up to RM1,000 on expenditure related to domestic tourism, as well as digital vouchers for domestic tourism of up to RM100 per person for domestic flights, rail and hotel accommodations for all Malaysians.
“An allocation of RM500mil is provided for the vouchers and tourism promotion,” said Dr Mahathir.
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