As part of ongoing efforts to address the economic hardships of its lockdown restrictions the government recently made announcements concerning specific Covid-19 initiatives, introducing new support measures and making adjustments to existing packages.
If you have a business in Malaysia it is important to understand what financial support is available to you and your employees and how that support may be accessed:
PEMERKASA Plus Assistance Package Announcement
The PEMERKASA Plus economic stimulus package (also known as PERMERKASA+) was announced on 31 may 2021, with around RM40 billion of funding allocated for Covid-19 relief. The package has 3 main goals:
- Increasing Malaysia’s public healthcare capacity
- Maintaining business continuity
- Continuing to support welfare via the Prihatin Rakyat agenda
The assistance package includes a range of financial benefits including an increase of the Prihatin Special Grant, an extension of the stamp duty exemption on transfer instruments and loan agreements for residential homes, and a 10% discount on electricity bills for businesses in certain sectors.
In addition to those benefits, the PEMERKASA Plus Assistance Package also contains the following significant support measures:
HRD Levy Exemption: The government has confirmed an exemption payment of the Human Resources Development (HRD) Corporation levy. Details of the exemption are as follows:
- The HRD levy exemption is available to all employers that are registered under the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) Act 2001.
- The levy applies to the month of June 2021. The levy will resume for July 2021 salary payments.
The HRD levy is intended to help upgrade the Malaysian workforce by offering employees a range of professional training and skills. With that in mind, employers are reminded that their employees continue to have access to the HRD Corporation e-learning hub (e-LATIH): the hub offers over 400 educational modules and skills courses and is accessible for free.
PERKESO Wage Subsidy Extension: The PERKESO Wage Subsidy Scheme (PSU) will be extended for one month - from 30 June to 31 July 2021. The scheme is limited to 500 employees per application but is expected to benefit over 2.5 million employees and 200,000 employers. The PEMERKASA Plus PSU extension follows the previous extension in January, facilitated by the PERMAI assistance package.
In announcing the PEMERKASA Plus Assistance Package by televised address on 31 May, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin revealed that more financial support to combat the effects of the pandemic would be forthcoming. He stated that an additional RM100 billion would be dedicated to stimulus packages in addition to the RM322.5 billion already allocated to initiatives in 2021.