Type to search

Malaysia to pump another $3.7 billion into its Covid-hit economy

Malaysia will introduce 15 billion ringgit ($3.71 billion) worth of additional stimulus measures to support its pandemic-hit economy and fight Covid-19, its Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced. 

Last week, Malaysia declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide travel ban and lockdowns in the capital and five states to help curb the spread of the outbreak, which has been worsening in recent days.

Muhyiddin said strict curbs under the movement control order (MCO), which took effect on Wednesday, should not have as much of an impact on the economy compared to the last lockdown in March since more economic activities are allowed to continue.

Read more: What happens when political rivals Taiwan, China drill for oil together 

“As such, the impact of the current MCO to the economy is expected to be manageable,” Muhyiddin told a televised address.

Public mobility and businesses ground to a near halt over six weeks between March and April after the government imposed strict coronavirus curbs, causing Malaysia’s economy to contract for the first time in more than a decade in the second quarter.

The government’s new aid measures include an additional 1 billion ringgit to fund procurement of more supplies for frontline healthcare workers, including reagents and screening kits and personal protective equipment.

WAGE SUBSIDIES

Banks will also extend a moratorium on loans and restructure repayment for individuals and businesses, while the government will expedite disbursement of cash aid to low income families and individuals and broaden the scope of a wage subsidy plan for employers.

The government rolled out 305 billion ringgit of stimulus measures last year, ranging from cash handouts to wage subsidies and loan moratoriums to help the public and businesses weather the pandemic.

In November, the government unveiled a record 322.5 billion ringgit ($79.75 billion) budget for 2021 to spur economic activity and support growth.

  • Reuters

Also on ATF:

Asian markets soar as epidemic rages on in the West 

US raps Vietnam over currency

Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

AF China Bond