[ UPDATE 29/3/2020 23:40 ] Ministry of Finance has revealed more details on the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN). More details here.
In today’s address, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a RM250 billion stimulus package to support Malaysians during these challenging times due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes increased allowances for frontliners as well as cash handouts to citizens.
Special allowances for doctors, nurses and medical staff will be increased from RM400/month to RM600/month starting 1st April until the end of the outbreak. For personnel involved in the enforcement of the Movement Control order, which includes the police, customs, defence, armed forces, RELA and immigration, they will be given a special allowance of RM200/month from 1st April until the end of the outbreak.
One-off cash aid
The Government is aware of the economic impact of the current outbreak and they are providing RM10 billion in cash aid to the following groups:
Household Income of RM4,000 and below
RM1,600 will be given to 4 million households with a monthly income of RM4,000 and below. RM1,000 will be paid in April and RM600 in May 2020.
Household Income of RM4,001 to RM8000
RM1,000 will be allocated to 1.1 million households with a monthly income of more than RM4,000 to RM8,000. RM500 will be paid in April and another RM500 will be paid in May 2020.
Single adults with income of RM2,000 and below
RM800 will be allocated to 3 million single adults aged 21 years old and above with an income of RM2,000 and below. RM500 will be transferred in April and the remaining RM300 in May 2020.
Single adults with income between RM2,001 to RM4000
RM500 will be allocated to 400,000 single adults aged 21 years and above with an income of more than RM2,000 to RM4,000. RM250 will be paid in April and RM250 will be paid in May 2020.
In addition, the remaining cash aid under the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) program will be disbursed in July 2020 and it involves an allocation of RM3.2 billion.
For those studying in higher education institutions, you’ll get a one-off payment of RM200 in May 2020. The aid which is valued at RM270 million in total will be allocated to students in various higher institutions of learning including matriculation, community colleges, polytechnic, IPTA and IPTS. A few days ago, the government has also announced deferment of PTPTN student loan repayments by 6 months.
OKU and vulnerable groups
The government has also allocated RM25 million to assist vulnerable groups which include the disabled, homeless as well as senior citizens and children in welfare homes. Authorities will work closely with NGO and social entrepreneurs to provide food, healthcare necessities and shelter for these groups.
Out of the RM250 billion, RM128 billion will be allocated to take care of the citizen’s welfare, RM100 billion will be used to assist businesses including SMEs and another RM2 billion is to strengthen the national economy. Another RM20 billion comes from the earlier announced economic stimulus package.
The government has also announced that Malaysians telcos will be offering free 1GB of data per day from 1st April until the end of the Movement control order.
Governments are providing cash handouts to ensure its citizens are able to cope during the economic uncertainty. Yesterday, the Singaporean government have announced that its cash payouts will be tripled. Eligible Singaporeans can stand to receive either SGD 300 (about RM908), SGD 600 (about RM1,817) or SGD 900 (about RM2,725) depending on their level of income.
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