Coronavirus: Malaysia announces additional RM620 million aid for economy

The additional RM620 million (S$205 million) will be spent to help Malaysia's economy withstand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO: AFP

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (March 16) announced that an additional RM620 million (S$205 million) will be spent to help the economy withstand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This adds to the RM20 billion economic stimulus package unveiled by the previous government in late February to deal with the outbreak.

The additional expenditure will cover a RM500 million provision for a 2 per cent discount on electricity tariffs for commercial, industrial and agriculture sectors and domestic users from April 1 to Sept 30.

Another RM120 million will take the form of monthly handouts of RM600 each to 33,000 workers earning below RM4,000 a month for six months. The financial aid will be given to those who have been served no-pay notices by their employers from March.

"The government will continue to implement responsible fiscal management and business-friendly measures to attract quality investments," Tan Sri Muhyiddin said at a press conference on Monday after a meeting of the newly formed Economic Action Council.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin's administration said that major government projects, namely the East Coast Rail Link, the MRT2 rail and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan, will continue as planned.

The council, said Mr Muhyiddin, will meet weekly to discuss plans to boost the domestic economy.

He said despite the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the economy, it is hoped that the government's expenditure to bolster businesses would instil investor confidence.

"What we have announced accommodates the sectors that needs support … I must take this opportunity to tell businesses and investors that we understand your problem and we have to do something about it," he said.

"It's important to make our economy sustainable, not just for the short-term. The Covid-19 issue is transient in nature … I do not think it will last forever," Mr Muhyiddin said.

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