KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 – Malaysia’s Covid-19 stimulus packages have contributed 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), comparable to other developed countries and higher than regional developing countries, according to a comparative analysis of government assistance.
The Department of Finance’s analysis compared Malaysia to Asia-Pacific (Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, South Korea) and UK and US United of America.
“In the United States, stimulus packages contributed 26.5% of GDP, New Zealand 19.3%, Australia 19.1% and the United Kingdom 17.8% .
“As for the Asian region, Malaysia is also tied with Singapore at 20%, while other countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan have contributed less than 10% of their GDP.” , the report revealed.
The analysis was carried out by the National Economic Recovery Plan Implementation and Coordination Unit (Laksana).
Laksana found that the initiatives Malaysia has put in place are currently not available in other countries. This includes the moratorium on insurance (for three months), the tax exemption on real estate gains and the unlimited My30 and My5 packages.
“Other initiatives Malaysia could consider as part of the Rakyat stimulus package are rent relief grants to prevent evictions, Covid-19 holidays and self-isolation support for workers, the payment of family or dependents of people who have died due to Covid-19, ”the report says.
As part of the business recovery plan, Laksana found that the Malaysian government’s efforts to support businesses cover several different key areas, and the initiatives proposed are almost similar to those in other countries.
“The initiatives include a loan moratorium (automatic basis for six months), targeted repayment assistance (100 percent opt-in basis for three months or 50 percent for six months).
“Tekun Microfinancing (up to 100,000 RM), Penjana Tourism Fund (up to 300,000 RM), special grant to SMEs in Prihatin (one-time, 3000 RM), DanaJamin (duration up to 10 years, 5 million RM to RM 1 billion) and Dana Penjana, ”the report says.
Other initiatives the Malaysian government may consider in the future, Laksana said, are the UK’s Covid-19 restart grant, corporate tax cuts for large and small businesses, changes to insolvency laws, increasing the threshold and the length of time to respond before creditors take action.
As part of the economic stimulus package, overall Malaysian government assistance covered key sectors such as tourism, food, health and other sectors such as small-scale projects (contracts for entrepreneurs G1 to G4) and Sukuk Prihatin (minimum RM 500).
“The initiatives that Malaysia has put in place that are currently not available in other countries would be the Sukuk Prihatin.
“Other initiatives Malaysia could consider including a 50% Covid-19 testing subsidy for tourists to boost tourism, a restaurant revitalization fund for their food and beverage players,” reimbursement to accommodation providers for their reservations lost due to Covid-19 for the entire lockdown period, Green New Deal to support the net green society by supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of ‘energy from renewable energies,’ the report says.
The government of Perikatan Nasional (PN) had pledged Ringgit 380 billion in humanitarian aid since the imposition of the First Order of Movement Control (MCO) on March 18 last year.
One year later, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the Strategic Program to Empower the People and the Economy or Pemerkasa worth RM20 billion.
Muhyiddin said Pemerkasa will focus on 20 strategic initiatives to spur economic growth, support businesses and continue to target aid on all those affected.
More recently, the Prime Minister announced in June 150 billion RM in aid spending for Covid-19 with 10 billion RM in aid to be channeled to low and middle-income households affected by the public health crisis.