The report also touched on how the government supported workers and businesses in the tourism as well as agricultural sector which saw RM66.9mn and RM187.74mn disbursed respectively.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) released the 66th LAKSANA report on 1 September (Wednesday), covering the aims of the nation's new Cabinet, Pre-Budget Statement 2022, COVID-19 Special Assistance funds for the needy (Bantuan Khas COVID-19, or BKC), as well as other initiatives such as telecommunication data packages (Caring Networking Programme, or Programme Jaringan Prihatin) for the needy and their families.
In this coverage, Human Resources Online will focus on the following:
- The business and employment programmes and statistics, and
- The support for Employees' Provident Fund members and others.
Read below for more details relevant to employers and HR leaders in Malaysia.
Business and employment programmes and statistics
In this segment, the Ministry shared the progress of:
- The wage subsidy programme (PSU) - 1.0 and 2.0;
- Support for SMEs and mid-tier companies (MTC) for technical and digital adoption, and
- The financing of the tourism sector.
According to the report, through PSU 1.0, a total of 322,177 employers and 2.64mn employees have received PSU benefits under PRIHATIN and the National Economic Regeneration Plan (PENJANA).
As of 20 August, the approved wage subsidy applications have reached a value of RM12.929bn—an increase from previously announced RM12.914bn in the 65th LAKSANA report.
For PSU 2.0, the report shared that as of 20 August, a total of RM1.356bn has been channeled to 77,507 employers to continue operating and maintaining employment for 692,805 employees. This is also an increase from what was previously released in the 65th LAKSANA report. Back then, a total of RM1.334bn has been disbursed to 77,226 employers and served 681,838 employees.
SME digitalisation grant
To assist SMEs in adopting digitalisation services in their day-to-day business operations, local banks such as Bank Simpanan Nasional have been providing grants of up to RM5,000.
As of 20 August, it was reported that a total of RM12.36bn have been disbursed to 26,048 SMEs.
In the same period, through the government's effort to assist and encourage SMEs and mid-tier companies towards the digitalisation of operations and trade channels under PENJANA, RM82.27mn has been channeled to 13,884 businesses in the form of grants and loans for digitalisation services subscriptions.
Financing businesses in the tourism sector
The government has allocated RM600mn for SMEs and micro-SMEs in the tourism sector that are affected by COVID-19. As of 20 August, there were 681 applications for this funding, which 337 are approved with a total funding of RM66.9mn.
The report also noted that initially, the government allocated RM1bn for SMEs and micro-SMEs in the tourism sector. However, RM400mn have been reallocated to:
- Establishment of Disaster Relief Facilities (DRF) to reduce financial burden and recover business operations of SMEs affected by the floods; and
- SME Digital Automation Facility (ADF), which is part of the aforementioned digitalisation grant, to provide incentives to SMEs to automate processes and digitise operations to increase productivity and efficiency.
Support for Employees' Provident Fund members and others
Beyond businesses, the government is also helping Malaysians tide through the pandemic—and one way is through allowing eligible members under Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to do i-Citra withdrawal of up to a maximum of RM5,000 from both accounts one and two. In terms of numbers, it was reported that, as of 19 August, a sum of RM20.2bn has been approved by Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) which involved 4.87mn applicants. Of that amount, a total of RM4.6bn has been successfully credited to members.
Another way is allocating RM350mn for farmers, ranchers and fishermen through the Agrobank Microcredit Financing Scheme. As of 20 August, a total of RM187.74mn has been channeled under this scheme to benefit 15,058 agricultural workers.
Image / Malaysia's Ministry of Finance