KUALA LUMPUR, 8 April 8 2020 – The additional measures unveiled under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) could support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are struggling to retain their workers and customers due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) is encouraged to see that MSMEs are being given due attention and support by the Government as they deal with COVID-19 and the MCO.
AMCHAM Malaysia chief executive officer Siobhan Das said the chamber’s member companies rely on the strong ecosystem of SMEs in Malaysia as they were undoubtedly one of the hardest-hit segments during these unprecedented times.
“AMCHAM remains committed to finding a balance between stemming the spread of the virus and the return to limited levels of economic activity which, in turn, will also allow the transition to new behaviours and working protocols for employees in companies everywhere.”
Siobhan Das, AMCHAM Malaysia Chief Executive Officer
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, on Monday, announced an additional allocation of RM10 billion in the PRIHATIN Package for SMEs (Additional Measures) to help ease the financial burden of SMEs that would guarantee two-thirds of the country’s workforce remain employed.
Among the additional measures taken is increasing the allocation for the wage subsidy programme announced on March 27 to RM13.8 billion from RM5.9 billion, an additional RM7.9 billion.
The wage subsidy would benefit 4.8 million workers with a monthly income of RM4,000 and below. The additional allocation included RM2.1 billion in grants that would be channelled to micro businesses registered with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) as of January this year.
Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the Government is seen to be doing its best to ensure continued employment in the SME sector.
He said the measures were also aimed at cushioning the pandemic impact on business cash flow, while continuing to facilitate access to finance for SMEs.
“SMEs are the backbone of Malaysia’s development, contributing 38.3 percent to the national economy and provides jobs to more than two-thirds of total domestic employment.
“Today, COVID-19 has affected all levels of business, including supply chains, trade and transactions, and job stability. Hence, the measures taken should be designed specifically to support the economic growth and contain the adverse effects of the pandemic,” he said in a statement.