Malaysian PM, ministers, deputies give up two months' pay to coronavirus fund

In a photo taken on March 16, 2020, Prime MInister Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
In a photo taken on March 16, 2020, Prime MInister Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Prime Minister, all ministers and deputy ministers will contribute two months of their salaries to the Covid-19 Fund, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Thursday (March 26).

PMO said the 32-member Cabinet and the 38 deputy ministers will have their pay automatically deducted and channelled to the fund.

This was decided during a Cabinet meeting on March 25.

"This step shows the earnestness of the government to assist those who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic," PMO said.

The Covid-19 fund was launched on March 11 as a government effort to assist the people who have been affected by the pandemic.

As of March 25, the total contribution collected, including government grants, stands at RM8.49 million (S$2.83 million).

Malaysia currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in South-east Asia.

The number of infections grew by another 172 on Wednesday to 1,796, more than double the 673 tally just a week ago. Deaths have climbed from two to 21 in the same period.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has initiated restricted movement curbs to stem the rising number of infections.

Initially the curbs were to be in place until March 31, but it has since been extended to April 14.