Prihatin stimulus package ensures basic needs, job security during trying times: MTUC Sarawak

Andrew Lo

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KUCHING, Mar 28: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak views positively the federal government people-centric economic stimulus package (Prihatin) which provides cash assistance to workers as well as wage subsidy to employers.

MTUC Sarawak secretary Andrew Lo said, the effort was commendable given the budget constraints.

“We are also very pleased to note that the Government has rightly resisted some employers’ demands to force workers to take unpaid leave and to stop and reduce EPF (Employees Providence Fund) contribution.

“At the same time, we also supported the move for EPF to defer/restructure/reschedule employers share of EPF contributions. This will assist employers with their cash flow. At the same time and enable contributions can be clawed back when things become better, which we are confident they will,” Lo said here today.

He was commenting on the RM250 billion stimulus package by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

Among others, the latest economic stimulus package will see police, armed forces, immigration, customs, civil defence and Rela personnel being given a monthly allowance of RM200 starting April 1.

For students in institutes of higher learning, a one-off payment of RM200 will be paid to them in May.

For small and medium enterprises, an additional fund of RM4.5bil for five initiatives will be given.

Company owners facing cashflow problems can opt to defer, restructure or reschedule employers contribution to the Employees Provident Fund.

Using the example of Cik Kiah, a goreng pisang seller as an analogy, the Prime Minister said her entire family would benefit to the tune of RM7,864.

He said for example, if Cik Kiah’s husband was a retired civil servant and a Grab driver while her child a PTPTN loan borrower and the household income could amount to RM4,000 a month.

“Cik Kiah’s family will get the national caring aid of RM1,600, remaining payment of BSH which is RM600, aid for pensioners which is RM500 and e-hailing assistance of RM500.

“If Cik Kiah’s husband serves with Rela, he will get RM200 a month until the Covid-19 pandemic is over,” he said.

Muhyiddin pointed out the cash aid to be received by Cik Kiah’s family would be at least RM3,400.

The Prime Minister said those renting PPR houses – like Cik Kiah – will get savings of RM744 as rental will be exempted for six months.

She will also be making savings of RM1,800 as car instalments have been deferred for six months and savings of RM120 from electricity bills while Cik Kiah’s child has RM1,200 extra due to six months deferment of the PTPTN loan,” said the prime minister.

Meanwhile, MTUC Sarawak also called on all employees and workers to also be flexible and be prepared to perform other tasks during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and to extend cooperation to assist their employers to face the challenges.

“We call on employers to discuss with their employees and unions in a sincere manner to work out practical arrangements to face these challenging times.

“We believe that most employees and unions, whose employers have been good to them would volunteer to take annual leave/unpaid leave if they are assured of their jobs. Good employers will also most willingly reimburse employees once the situation improves.

“We believe that resorting to threats and fear mongering by some employers will be counterproductive and detrimental to workers, employers and our nation in the long run,” added Lo.—DayakDaily