KUALA LUMPUR — June 23, 2020: The government believes that the Wage Subsidy Programme implemented to address the economic impact of Covid-19 has saved 2.4 million jobs, with RM4.89 billion approved as of June 19.
Although Malaysia’s unemployment is expected to increase in the coming months, measures under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) were aimed at reducing the rate, said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz when presenting the latest Prihatin report.
Prihatin is worth an estimated RM260 billion and is complemented by the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) with RM35 billion.
Malaysia’s unemployment rose to 5.0 per cent in April due to the movement control order and conditional movement control order.
Most countries are having to deal with high unemployment due to Covid-19, such as India at 23.5 per cent, the Philippines (17.7), United States (13.3) and China (5.9).
“With the Wage Subsidy Programme expanded under Penjana since June 15, employers can now apply for wage subsidies for their employees who are on unpaid leave,” said Zafrul.
The government expects further improvement in the third and fourth quarters of the year following the recent opening of almost all sectors of the economy.
Zafrul said various upskilling programmes undertaken under Penjana are aimed at preserving the capacity of the workforce so that the business sector could be revived more rapidly.