The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has welcomed the RM20 billion People and Economic Strategic Empowerment Programme (PEMERKASA) stimulus package that was announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. MEF President Dato’ Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the package provided employers with the much-needed lifeline to look forward to.
“The disruptions to business due to Covid-19 had most employers clamouring for support and the government’s unveiling of the PERMEKASA initiative was indeed a welcome relief. PEMERKASA targets 400,000 employees and 37,000 employers, as well as addressed the needs of gig workers, SMEs and micro enterprises and entrepreneurs. Employers in the most affected sectors such as tourism, retail and wholesale should be able to breathe easier with the provision of RM700 million to extend the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 for three months. We are also pleased that the Penjana Kerjaya 2.0 initiative under SOCSO had been enhanced and expanded to include 60,000 temporary and gig workers, while the Prihatin Special Grant 3.0 initiative aims to assist local SMEs and micro enterprises to restart operations. The existing micro credit financing through programmes under Tank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Tekun Nasional, Mara and SME Corp also received an additional top-up of RM500 million.
The MEF also welcomed the government’s call for economic reforms that embraces a new development model based on knowledge intensity and productivity-driven in order for Malaysia to achieve high income status. Acknowledging the new direction that the government has embarked on with the mobilisation of all its ministries and agencies towards this objective, Dato’ Dr Syed Hussain said employers are able to contribute to this crucial effort by fulfilling an important role. “We are positive about the government’s plans and we want to help our country achieve this goal by doing our part,” said the MEF President. “An area where employers can contribute is on the issue of unemployed and underemployed graduates, which could be addressed in a targeted and structured manner. “There are about 500,000 new graduates every year but because of the disruptions and delays caused by the Covid-19 situation that number would double to about one million in 2021.