Just yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced an RM15 billion assistance package called the Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia, or PERMAI. Under this, a total of 22 initiatives will be implemented with the aim of combatting the Covid-19 outbreak, safeguarding the welfare of the people as well as supporting business continuity (much needed with the implementation of MCO 2.0). This, of course, means that the initiatives will benefit the people of Malaysia as a whole – business included. But, what does it mean on an individual level? Here are the ways in which PERMAI can benefit you and your family:
1. A one-off payment of RM500 to healthcare frontliners, RM300 to other frontline staff starting in the first quarter of 2021.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also confirmed that an additional 3,500 healthcare personnel will be recruited under the Permai Assistance Package (Permai). New recruits will begin their service at the end of January.
2. A one-off financial assistance remittance of RM500 to 14,000 tourist guides as well as 118,000 drivers of taxis, school buses, tour buses, rental cars and e-hailing vehicles.
3. The i-Sinar facility under Category 2 interim payment of up to RM1,000 from the total amount applied will be made from Jan 26.
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For those who have already submitted their supporting documents, the interim payment will begin from Jan 26, while for new applications that have yet to submit their relevant documents, the interim payment will be processed within seven days from the date the application is received. Once applications have been properly verified and approved, EPF will proceed with the scheduled release of the remaining amount requested, minus the interim payment. Based on EPF’s statement, its original requirement of a minimum of 30 per cent salary reduction still applies for members applying for the i-Sinar withdrawal.
4. RM2.5k tax relief for phone and computer purchases extended for another year (+ extension of free data!)
Making the decision after considering the ‘new normal’ that Malaysians are now enduring – with many having to relying heavily on technology – the RM2,500 special tax relief for the purchase of mobile phones, computers and tablets which expired on Dec 31, 2020, will be extended for another year until the end of 2021. The prime minister also announced the extension of the provision of one free gigabyte of data for the public to browse websites (including for educational purposes) to the end of April 2021.
5. The electricity rebate will continue until June 2021.
Under this initiative, all Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) users, both domestic and non-domestic, will receive a rebate at a rate of two sen per kilowatt-hour. The rate is equivalent to a reduction in electricity bills of up to nine per cent for a period of six months from Jan 1 to June 30, 2021.
6. Moratorium facility, including an extension of the moratorium and restructuring of loan repayment, will continue to be offered by banks.
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Those included are PTPTN borrowers, affected by the pandemic or floods, who are eligible to apply for a three-month PTPTN loan repayment moratorium. Application for this moratorium can be made until March 31, 2021.
7. Three agreements have been signed with vaccine producers, with the first batch of vaccines projected to arrive at the end of next month (February).
Hopefully, with the announcement and implementation of the PERMAI Assistance Package, the burden on our fellow Malaysians can be reduced. Stay safe guys!