Malaysia’s wage subsidies total RM$15 billion as at end-October
Malaysia’s dedicated wage subsidy programme has so far an allocated total of RM15 billion (US$3.7 billion), said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri.
As at October 31, the Malaysian government has channeled RM12.5 billion (US$ 3.09 billion) into the programme, which has helped 2.7 million workers and over 330,000 employers, the minister told parliament.
“Given that many workers are still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic especially the tourism sector, the government, through Budget 2021, has extended the implementation of the Wage Subsidy Programme for an additional three months specifically for the tourism sector, including the retail sector, by providing RM600 per month for workers earning RM4,000 and below,” he said.
He also added that “the limit in [the] number of employees eligible to receive the wage subsidy per employer has been raised from 200 employees to 500.”
The nation’s wage subsidy programme aims to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to sustain companies and lower retrenchment rates.
The programme was first announced through an economic stimulus package in March this year, and was subsequently extended in early June.
Under the wage subsidy, firms can receive a RM600 (US$148) salary subsidy for three months for staff who earn less than RM4,000 (US$987) a month. To qualify, businesses would also have to suffer an income loss of over 50% since January 1, 2020.