As at : 23 March 2020

In February 2020, the Malaysian government issued an emergency stimulus package worth US$4.8 billion to counter the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The package implements strategies that include spurring economic growth, promoting investments, and encouraging businesses to adopt automation and digitalization in their processes.

Below is a quick updated summary of the initiatives:

1. Through the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) which amounts to RM40 billion, all contributors/members under 55 years of age will now be allowed to withdraw RM500 per month for a period of 12 months. Applications can be made from 1st April 2020. This is expected to benefit up to 12 million EPF members. 

2. The Malaysian government also agreed to provide an additional allocation of RM500 million to the Ministry of health to support efforts to address COVID-19. This provision will also be used to finance the purchase of medical equipment such as ventilators and ICU equipment & additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical service personnel. In addition the government is allocating RM100 million to the Ministry of Health for the appointment of 2,000 new employees on contract, in particular nurses. The recruitment of new medical staff can be made immediately to allow all hospitals in Malaysia to be equipped with sufficient 

3. An allocation of RM130 million will be given to all states in Malaysia to assist with the COVID-19 crisis. This provision may be used to provide assistance to hawkers and small traders that are affected by the crisis, COVID-19 patients and members of their families. 

4. The government has also agreed to provide an extended period of 3 to 6 months deferment of loan repayments to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), a fund set up in 1997 authorized to give study loans to students pursuing tertiary education in Malaysia. The suspension of payment is with immediate effect right through 30th September 2020. This is expected to benefit nearly 1.5 million PTPTN lenders.

In a crisis situation that is plaguing our country at this time, the most important thing we should always do is work together in finding a solution to every problem we will face.

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