Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that he and all of the Cabinet ministers will not be receiving their monthly salaries for three months
In a special announcement of the government's financial assistance programme tonight, 31 May, Muhyiddin said the money would instead be channelled to the National Disaster Relief Fund to show their solidarity in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as a country.
The effort was announced as part of the Pemerkasa Plus programme — RM40 billion in economic aid that will be given to help the rakyat through the total lockdown, which has also been dubbed the 'Full Movement Control Order' (FMCO).
The FMCO will begin nationwide starting midnight tonight for two weeks until 14 June in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Muhyiddin said Pemerkasa Plus will have three main targets
The programme seeks to boost public healthcare capacity, preserve people's welfare, and ensure the sustainability of businesses.
"As I have pointed out before, the closure of several sectors will have a tremendous impact on the national economy and the rakyat's lives. I wish to be honest that the government has very limited fiscal space to spend at this time," said the premier.
"But based on the concern of people's welfare, the government will do its best to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods through the FMCO."
Here are the highlights of the initiatives under the Pemerkasa Plus programme:
- RM2.1 billion will be allocated to the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) programme to help households earning less than RM5,000 a month and individuals earning less than RM2,500 a month.
- A choice of a moratorium on loans for three months or reduction of loan repayments by 50% for six months for those in the B40 group, who lost work, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that cannot operate during FMCO.
- A special one-off assistance of RM500 for tourist drivers, taxi drivers, and school bus drivers, as well as rental car drivers and e-hailing drivers.
- The government will allocate RM1.5 billion to extend the Social Security Organisation's (SOCSO) wage subsidy programme for another month.
- Students from local institutions of higher learning will be able to claim RM150 in e-wallet credit through the e-Belia programme.
- Free upskilling will be given to employees through over 400 modules and courses available online under the e-Latih portal.
- Eligible SMEs will receive a total payout of RM1,500 by July through the Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) programme.
- 10% discount in electricity bills for affected sectors, including hotel operators, travel agencies, shopping complexes, convention centres, theme parks, and airline offices.
- The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) will waive penalties for late renewal of business licenses for micro businesses, sole proprietorships, and partnerships until 31 December.
- Building and business premise owners who reduce rental rate for their business premises by 30% for six months up to 31 December will get special tax deductions.
- There will be duty stamp exemption under the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) that was supposed to end today, 31 May, will be extended to 31 December.
Last week, Muhyiddin Yassin said Malaysia will face severe economic impact if it were to implement a full lockdown: