PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have lauded stimulus efforts carried out by Perikatan Nasional over the last one year, since taking over the Federal Government.
The measures have proven to be lifelines which has helped Malaysians cope with the loss of jobs and incomes.
Lee Hai Lam, who was retrenched, said the Permai package had eased the requirements under the Employee Insurance Scheme (EIS), making him eligible to claim 30% of his previous drawn salary for three months.
“Though it’s not much, at least it helps me weather through such tough times. I can’t imagine what life would be without this additional aid, ” said the 47-year-old.
Tan Lee Hsien, who was also retrenched, said he was able to open a small mini-courier franchise company with the Employees Provident Fund’s i-Sinar withdrawals.
“Now I have a new source of income, I don’t have to worry that much anymore. I couldn’t even sleep thinking about how to pay my car instalments and provide food for the family, ” said the 36-year-old.
A former restaurant operator, who only wanted to be known as Cheong, said he was glad to receive government assistance to reskill and prepare for re-employment under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) programme.
“At first, I was so afraid... then I lost my business. But at least now I have an opportunity to learn how to fix air-conditioners. Perhaps that will be my next business, ” he said.
A graphics designer, who wanted to be known as Teoh, also said she was retrenched and was thankful for the government’s car and housing loan deferment scheme.
“With the car loan deferment, I was able to put off paying it for six months. With some of the burden off my back, I was able to concentrate on finding another job and use the money to pay for other bills, ” the 27-year-old said.
P. Siva, 36, said the housing loan deferment scheme had helped him cope during the downturn.
The businessman from Kuala Lumpur said his regular income from renting his two properties dropped significantly last year.
“Luckily I could delay my bank instalment with the loan deferment scheme, ” he said.
M. Kalai, a recipient of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, said he was glad that the government had disbursed the money promptly.
“The money given by the government helped me to buy groceries for the family. It helped me to relieve my financial burden after my salary was cut due to the pandemic, ” the 32-year-old car mechanic said.
An undergraduate with a local university, who only wanted to be known as Farid, said he was glad that the government had extended the free 1GB data to browse websites under the Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (Permai) assistance package.
“We have to study online now and need constant Internet connectivity. The free 1GB data helped me stay connected as not everyone has Wifi at home, ” the 20-year-old said.