Malaysia’s wage subsidy programme saved 2.4 million jobs

Despite the jobs saved, Malaysia's unemployment rate is expected to increase in the coming months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By: | June 26, 2020

The wage subsidy programme in Malaysia which was implemented to help bolster the economic impact of the COVID-19, has saved 2.4 million jobs, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

In March, the Malaysian government unveiled the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) worth RM260 billion followed by the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) worth RM35 billion.

According to Zafrul, RM4.89 billion had been approved for 303,596 employers for the benefit of over 2.4 million workers as of June 19, compared to RM1.2 billion for 159,000 employers involving one million workers on April 19.

And he warned that the country has not seen the worst of its unemployment rate, which rose to 5% in April due to the closure of business during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in March and April.

“Although Malaysia’s unemployment rate is expected to increase in the coming months, measures under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) were aimed at reducing the unemployment rate,” he was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper.

“With the Wage Subsidy Programme expanded under PENJANA since June 15, employers can now apply for wage subsidies for their employees who are on unpaid leave.

“With this in mind, coupled with the opening of almost all sectors of the economy, the government is targeting to improve the rate, especially in the third and fourth quarters of this year, InsyaAllah, ” he added.