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Approved. Wage subsidy for nearly a million employees.

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When people need money for food, they really need the money. Mortgage payments may have moratorium of 6 months but it’s impossible to skip meals without becoming sick, unhealthy and more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Rental would also have to be paid too even if the worker has been asked to take unpaid leave at the moment due to Movement Control Order (MCO). Some tenants could also ask for rental discount or waiver from their landlords but there’s no guarantee it will be given. Recent news about waiver of rental for retail tenants here.

Remember the wage subsidy of RM1,200 per employee for the SMEs? This is part of the COVID-19 stimulus package of RM260 billion. Last week, RM8.6 billion was already approved disbursed. I used to worry about the implementation speed of the COVID-19 stimulus packages. I think the speed thus far is pretty good. Minister of Finance Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul announced that RM1.2billion in wage subsidies have been approved as of April 19.

Article in malaymail.com The RM1.2 billion approval will benefit nearly a million workers involving 159,000 employers (SMEs yeah). Tengku Zafrul said, “The subsidies were already disbursed to successful applicants starting last week.” Workers earning less than RM4,000 per month are eligible for the subsidies. Companies that employ more than 200 people will receive RM600 per retained worker while those employing between 75 and 200 employees will get RM800, and those with fewer than 75 employees will get RM1,200.

SMEs contribute around 30 percent to the yearly GDP but they employ 70% of the total of 15-million workforce in Malaysia. Zafrul also said that RM45 million from the RM700 million allocated for the micro credit scheme under the BSN-Tekun stewardship programme had been approved, involving over 1,000 micro businesses. He said, “I hope more micro-companies will apply and they can contact BSN and Tekun for the help they need.” Article in malaymail.com

Please follow what our Finance Minister is asking okay. Please apply soonest so that the approval can be given and the money could be disbursed. Of course, ONLY if you really need it and qualify lah. Our response to the COVID-19 thus far where stimulus and speed of implementation is concerned is not shabby at all. We will need to do our best to ensure as few businesses as possible closing down and as many employees as possible get a lifeline because MCO meant that their income may be affected but their expenses have to continue.Happy understanding and please start applying yeah.

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