PETALING JAYA: Another economic package, this time worth RM150bil, has been launched to provide comprehensive assistance to the people, many of whom are facing financial constraints due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.
With RM10bil direct fiscal injection, the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi or Pemulih – the eighth stimulus package to date – gives focus to three areas, which are continuing the Prihatin Rakyat agenda, supporting businesses and boosting vaccination.
Unveiling this, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government remained committed to prioritising the people’s well-being.
“I will not compromise on the issue of protecting the people’s welfare and in the fight against Covid-19,” he said during a special address to the nation to unveil the latest package.
The government, the Prime Minister pointed out, had launched seven assistance and stimulus packages with a total value of RM380bil since the pandemic started.
“Up till now, more than RM200bil has been channelled to benefit more than 20 million people and 2.4 million businesses,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government was providing various forms of assistance to the people as it was aware of the financial constraints that many were facing due to job losses and inability to work or do business like before.
“I am aware and I understand the problems faced by people, by restaurant operators who are burdened by losses when there are no customers, and the house builders as well as contract workers who have no income because the construction sector is non-critical and are not allowed to operate.
“The same goes for barbershop owners, clothing stores, car wash operators, pasar malam (night market) traders and others who cannot do business.
“Many individuals and businesses are affected because their sectors are not allowed to operate,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the National Recovery Plan announced on June 15 was a strategy to transition out of the movement control order in stages, enable the people to make plans that were in line with government initiatives to fight Covid-19 and help the country recover.
The transition comprises four phases and is based on three indicators – the number of Covid-19 cases daily, usage of bed in intensive care units and the percentage of people who have completed two doses of vaccine.
“Until now, the three indicators have not reached the threshold for us to move from Phase One to Phase Two. The daily cases are still above 4,000 or 12 cases for every 100,000 people.
“Taking into account the current situation, especially with the emergence of new and more aggressive variants, the government will need to boost the capacity of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme so that more people can be vaccinated fast.
“At the same time, agendas for the people must proceed and business sectors must continue to be given support,” said Muhyiddin.
Assuring the people that he understood their anxiety and concern, the Prime Minister said he and his Cabinet were finding ways to help the people overcome their problems.
“The government will continue to strive for the people despite limitations, to ensure the country remains on the right track to recovery. We will always have your interest at heart.
“No matter how many times we are tested, the government has pledged to serve the people to the best of our ability,” he reiterated.