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KUCHING, Aug 13: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today proposed for another RM10 billion in cash assistance during the second half of this year to help 11 million recipients throughout the country who are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister said the cash assistance will also continue to be distributed to those in need in the coming year (2022).
“This will help not only the Below 40 (B40) group, but also cover targeted groups such as the hardcore poor, rural poor, and the Medium 40 (M40) group, who had lost their source of income,” said Muhyiddin in his keynote speech when addressing the country today.
Muhyiddin added that in order to ensure the sustainability of businesses and economic recovery, additional funds from the Covid-19 Fund will be used to assist the workers recruitment incentives.
“This includes increasing the financing provided to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially in seizing opportunities following the reopening of the country’s economy, which is in line with the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP),” he added.
On the same note, Muhyiddin also proposed the formation of political bipartisanship support from political leaders across the divide to ensure political stability in the country, which, according to him, was crucial in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said in order to support the “Whole of Government” and the “Whole of Societies” principles in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister of Finance (MOF) has engaged with various parties including the opposition party leaders to obtain their input and suggestion to improve the NRP.
Accordingly, he continued, the MOF has reviewed and agreed to accept some of the suggestions and inputs that have been raised.
“In line with the proposal received, the government will table an increase in the Covid-19 Fund ceiling for another RM45 billion, from the RM65 million that was approved by the parliament last year, to RM110 billion, for parliamentary approval.
“This increase will help to meet the additional needs in overcoming the Covid-19 crisis, in terms of strengthening the healthcare system, improving the aid to the people, and to support the continuity of businesses,” he added.
He also pointed out that in addressing the Covid-19 health crisis, an additional allocation will be provided to enhance and expedite the effort to screen Covid-19 cases, detecting close contact cases, as well as isolating those who have tested positive for the virus.
He said the government will also strengthen the healthcare system by adding more health staff and increasing the capacity of the intensive care unit (ICU) wards, including outsourcing patients from public hospitals to private hospitals.
At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister invited all political party leaders for a discussion regarding the proposal, next week.
“I will issue an official invitation to all political party leaders to attend this discussion. I am ready to hear their views on this proposal, and if the bipartisanship proposal is agreed upon, I will convene for a Special Parliamentary Session to table a motion of confidence to the Prime Minister in the near future,” he said. — DayakDaily