The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has welcomed the government’s “people-centric” RM250 billion stimulus package, saying the three-month subsidy programme will help prevent retrenchment. The stimulus package was unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It includes RM600 per month for three months for employees earning below RM4,000 whose companies’ income has dropped more than 50% since 1 January 2020.
MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said this is the first time that the government is extending assistance to the middle-income M40 groups. “We, therefore, trust the employers will extend cooperation for the aid given by the government for businesses and urge them to take serious note of the PM’s advice to avoid retrenchment and wage cut,” he said in a statement.
Solomon said MTUC was also happy that Putrajaya had kept its pledge to help workers in the informal sectors as well as small traders, fishermen and rubber tappers. “This will help them to some extent of keeping afloat in the coming months,” he said.
He welcomed the freeze on rental collection for government housing units for six months, as well as the RM10 billion in cash handouts for the lower-income B40 and M40 groups.
He, however, hoped the government would quickly release information on how the people and workers can obtain the cash assistance without enduring “cumbersome procedures”.
E-hailing company Grab, meanwhile, welcomed the RM500 allocation for drivers, saying it will help those whose income is affected by the pandemic. Putrajaya has allocated RM60 million for one-off payments for 120,000 e-hailing drivers. “During these crucial times, every effort and consideration taken to address their concerns will help ease the burden for all Malaysians,” Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said in a statement.