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Amidst lockdown, Malaysia announces 4 new initiatives to help citizens and fight COVID-19

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced several major initiatives in a bid to ease a little of the people’s burden during these trying times.

The initiatives were decided upon at the second weekly meeting of the Economic Action Council (EAC), chaired by Muhyiddin, which discussed in detail the current financial position of the country.

According to a report by Bernama shared on the Prime Minister Office’s website, the initiatives include:

  • From 1 April 2020, 12mn Employees Provident Fund members aged 55 and below will be able to withdraw their savings from Account 2, subject to a maximum of RM500 per month for a period of 12 months. This will amount to an estimate of RM40bn.
  • An additional allocation of RM500mn to the Health Ministry for efforts to fight COVID-19 and RM100mn to appoint 2,000 new staff, especially nurses, on contract.
  • An allocation of RM130mn to all states to help the state governments handle the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Postponement of the repayment of PTPTN loans involving collections up to RM750mn.

He added that the Finance Ministry is studying comprehensive measures that will take into account the interests of every community group in the country.

“The government will give attention to everyone, whether they are small traders, taxi drivers, farmers, fishermen, livestock breeders, factory workers, private-sector employees or civil servants. InsyaAllah (God willing), I will announce a more comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package and People’s Aid on 30 March 2020,” Muhyiddin said.

He said all the measures to be announced will take into account efforts to strengthen the country’s financial position in the medium term. “I hope that with the measures to be taken by the government, you will have a secure future and our country’s economy will remain strong,” he added.

Muhyiddin said that in a crisis such as the one the country faces, the important thing is for everyone to consult one another and work hard to find solutions to every problem.

In a report by NST, Muhyiddin told a press conference yesterday that the government may consider extending the Movement Control Order (MCO) by up to two weeks. He added that the National Security Council will meet on 30 March 2020 to decide on what to do after the current curbs on movement and businesses expire at the end of the month.

Read the announcement in Malay here.

Photo / Prime Minister Office of Malaysia

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