No one left behind, says PM

PUTRAJAYA: The RM250bil economic “rakyat-caring” stimulus package – that aims to see no one left behind – is put in place to protect the people, support businesses and strengthen the economy, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said the package, known as Prihatin will provide immediate assistance to ease the burden of the people.

“Whether you are a fisherman in Kukup, or a smallholder in Jeli, a chalet operator in Cherating, trishaw pedaller in Melaka, a pasar malam trader in Kuala Lumpur or tamu trader in Kundasang.

“All of you will enjoy the benefits of the economic stimulus package that reflects the government’s care for the people.

“As I have mentioned before, no one is left behind,” he said in a televised address to announce the stimulus package.

The package came just days after the government announced several initiatives to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also comes after the move to extend the movement control order (MCO) period to April 14.

Among others, the latest economic stimulus package will see police, armed forces, immigration, customs, civil defence and Rela personnel being given a monthly allowance of RM200 starting April 1.

For students in institutes of higher learning, a one-off payment of RM200 will be paid to them in May.

For small and medium enterprises, an additional fund of RM4.5bil for five initiatives will be given.

Company owners facing cashflow problems can opt to defer, restructure or reschedule employers contribution to the Employees Provident Fund.

Using the example of Cik Kiah a goreng pisang seller as an analogy, the Prime Minister said her entire family would benefit to the tune of RM7,864.

He said for example, Cik Kiah’s husband is a retired civil servant and is a Grab driver while her child is a PTPTN loan borrower and the household income is RM4,000 a month.

“Cik Kiah’s family will get the national caring aid of RM1,600, remaining payment of BSH which is RM600, aid for pensioners which is RM500 and e-hailing assistance of RM500.

“If Cik Kiah’s husband serves with Rela, he will get RM200 a month until the Covid-19 pandemic is over,” he said.

Muhyiddin pointed out the cash aid to be received by Cik Kiah’s family is at least RM3,400.

The Prime Minister said those renting PPR houses – like Cik Kiah – will get a saving of RM744 as rentals will be exempted for six months.“She will also be making savings of RM1,800 as car installments have been deferred for six months and savings of RM120 from electricity bills while Cik Kiah’s child has RM1,200 extra due to six months deferment of the PTPTN loan,” he pointed out.

Muhyiddin explained that if Cik Kiah had taken a micro credit loan for her goreng pisang business, she would be saving RM600.

“Makcik Kiah can now smile after listening to the calculations I made,” he said.

The Prime Minister has also given his assurance that projects allocated in Budget 2020 including the East Coast Rail Link, MRT2 and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan will go on as planned, in line with the government’s focus to ensure sustainable economic development.

“The Prihatin economic package is a manifestation of the government’s commitment towards the welfare and well-being of the rakyat.

“The government will make a direct fiscal injection of RM25bil to lessen the burden of the people and businesses that are going through economic challenges,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the government will ensure that its fiscal current account will have a surplus and will not resort to borrowing to finance operating expenditures.

“Almost all of the measures are one-off so that it will not burden the government’s finances in the medium term

“This is important to ensure the country’s fiscal standing and national debts are sustainable,” he said.

Muhyiddin said aside from the two-month pay cut by him, ministers and deputy ministers, ministries have been directed to review their budgets to see where savings can be made so that the money can be used to put in place medium-term measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

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