MEF welcomes Permai aid, but says WSP should be extended

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) has welcomed the government’s latest stimulus package to beef up its war against Covid-19, but said the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) should be extended based on the length of the movement control order.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said this was because the ongoing MCO, which commenced on Jan 13 and scheduled to end on Jan 26, might be extended by the government.

“In the event that the MCO is extended for a longer period, then I think it’s only right that the WSP be extended for a further period, ” he said in an interview.

At the same time, Shamsuddin said the increased tax exemption for full medical checkups from RM500 to RM1,000 will encourage taxpayers to conduct medical screening, as well as strengthening the government’s battle against Covid-19.

“Hopefully, medical screenings will become a culture on our part. I think most Malaysians don’t do medical checkups as a regular practice.

“It is important for us to go for medical checkups because if ailments are detected early, it can be contained easily.”

Shamsuddin welcomed the one-off financial assistance of RM500 to all Covid-19 frontliners, and he also hoped for the moratorium offered by banks to be made accessible to all Malaysians despite their ongoing financial situation.

“Because many are impacted the moratorium should be granted to all borrowers whether they’re individual or corporate as they are also suffering reduction in income and revenue.”

Shamsuddin also welcomed the extension on the effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations to March 31,2021 under the Temporary Measures on reducing impact of Covid-19 Act, “as we know that under the Covid-19 situation, it can be very challenging for anyone to fulfil their contractual obligation”.

He called for the RM15bil “Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (Permai)” assistance package to be reviewed and improved from time to time.

“When the government assists the private sector, we also try to maintain employment and in that sense, we are helping in stabilising the labour market.”

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