The wage subsidy programme introduced by the government to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment in Malaysia has saved 2.4 million jobs, according to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
A total amount of RM4.89 billion has been approved for 303,596 employers as of 19 June, benefiting over 2.4 million workers, a significant uptick compared to the RM1.2 billion approved for 159,000 employers involving 1 million workers two months earlier in April.
The finance minister said that although Malaysia’s unemployment rate is expected to increase in the coming months, economic recovery measures introduced by the government are aimed at reducing it.
“With the wage subsidy programme expanded under Penjana since June 15, employers can now apply for wage subsidies for their employees who are on unpaid leave,” said Tengku Zafrul. “With this in mind, coupled with the opening of almost all sectors of the economy, the government is targeting to improve the rate, especially in the third and fourth quarters of this year.”
In April, the country’s unemployment rate rose to its highest in thirty years at 5%; in comparison, the unemployment is at 5.9% in China, 13.3% in the US, 23.5% in India, and 17.7% in the Philippines.
(Source: The Edge Markets)