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9 PERMAI Assistance Package You Should Know (COVID-19)

BY Faiz Rahim

Updated 22 Mar 2021

*This article was translated by Nisya Aziz from "COVID-19: 10 Inisiatif Kewangan PERMAI Yang Korang Kena Tahu".
As we’re all aware, our PM has announced a lot of initiatives for the people who are affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. The recent one would be the Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (PERMAI), an RM15billion (bn) stimulus package for MCO 2.0.

In his speech, the PM shared that the objectives of PERMAI are to fight Covid-19, protect the welfare of the people and support business continuity.

Here is the list of the initiatives that you can look forward to:


What's covered in this article?

1. Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) payment will be in soon!

Under the KITA PRIHATIN package introduced last year, the final phase payment of BPN will be brought forward from 21 January 2021 onwards.


2. BPR applications and updates are now open

For phase one of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat or BPR, the first instalment will involve more than 8 million recipients. Households earning up to RM5,000 per month will receive RM300 each while for those under the single category, earning up to RM2,000 per month will receive RM150.

You can apply/update your details from 15 January to 15 February 2021 on BPR’s website. The first payment will be made in April/May 2021. For the second payment, in September/October 2021.


3. EPF i-Sinar category 2 applicants will get up to RM1,000 in advance

For everyone's information, the i-Sinar facility has been opened to all EPF members whose income is affected by COVID-19 starting 21 December 2020.

To improve the i-Sinar facilities, especially for those who are facing various challenges due to MCO as well as flood disasters, the gahmen shared that the EPF will make an advance payment up to RM1,000 ringgit starting 26 January 2020.

On top of that, the i-Sinar application process has been simplified as well. Members now only need to declare themselves that they meet the set criteria and submit online supporting documents. More information will be announced by the EPF in the near future.

ALSO READ: i-Sinar & 8 Other Things You Can Use Your EPF for


4. Loan moratorium period extended to end of June 2020

As most of you know, you can defer your bank loan payments, which was initially only for 6 months. However, the gahmen decided to further extend the period after being aware of the difficulties that some borrowers continue to experience due to COVID-19.

Additionally, some Malaysian banks also have their own programs to support this initiative. For example, Maybank extends its repayment assistance application until 30 June 2021. 

For now, the approval rate is 95%.

READ ALSO: 4 Things You Need to Know About BNM’s Loan Repayment Moratorium

"What about those who has loan with Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN)?"

For PTPTN borrowers who are affected by the COVID-19 and flood disaster, you can apply for a refund moratorium PTPTN loan for 3 months. Loan deferment application can be made until 31 March 2021.

Meanwhile, for MARA borrowers, MARA will continue its initiative called MARA PRIHATIN Peace of Mind 2.0, where borrowers can apply for rescheduling loan repayment facilities or loan moratorium until 31 March 2021.


5. Another one-off provision to healthcare & other frontliners

As announced during Budget 2021, the one-off provision of RM500 to healthcare frontliners and RM300 to other frontliners will be paid in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the existing special monthly allowance of RM600 to healthcare frontliners and RM200 to other frontliners will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.


6. Commercial vehicle drivers to receive one-off financial assistance

The government has agreed to provide one-off financial assistance of RM500 to 14 thousand tourist guides and 118 thousand drivers for taxis, school buses, sightseeing buses, rental cars and e-hailing.


7. Improving wage subsidy program

Gahmen announced that the Wage Subsidy Program 3.0 under SOCSO will be enhanced whereby all employers operating in the MCO states will be eligible to apply, irrespective of sector. 

For a period of one month, eligible employers will receive a wage subsidy of RM600 for each of their employee earning less than RM4,000. In addition, the wage subsidy limit of 200 employees for each employer will be increased to 500 employees. 

SIDE NOTE: If you work as delivery riders, the government will fund the contribution for the Self-Employment Social Security Scheme.

8. Continuing Electricity Bill Discounts

Gahmen will provide a special discount of 10% on electricity bills from January to March 2021 to six business sectors nationwide, comprising hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices as well as travel and tour agencies.

In addition, electricity rebates will be given to all TNB users, domestic and non-domestic at a rate of 2 sen per kilowatt-hour, which is equivalent to a reduction in electricity bills of up to 9% for a period of 6 months, from 1 January to 30 June 2021.

ALSO READ: Expensive Electric Bill? Start Calculating Your Electricity Cost to Save Monies


9. More tax relief for the rakyat

Among the tax relief in the PERMAI initiatives are:

  • Special tax relief of up to RM2,500 on the purchase of mobile phones, computers and tablets which expired on 31 December 2020, will be extended for another year until the end of 2021.
  • Tax relief relating to full health screening expenses, which was increased from RM500 to RM1,000 in Budget 2021, has now been expanded to also cover COVID-19 screening.

To know more about PERMAI Assistance Package, refer to the speech text HERE.
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About the Author

Faiz Rahim


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