KOTA KINABALU: The Pemerkasa recovery plan, announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has given the country’s economic sector a glimmer of hope in these difficult times.
Many business associations have thanked the government led by Perikatan Nasional for their laudable efforts to keep businesses alive.
It is understood that the RM 20 billion Pemerkasa aid program includes an additional RM 11 billion fiscal injection from the government with five main thrusts and 20 strategic initiatives.
The President of the Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI), Richard YH Lim, congratulated Muhyiddin for the excellent effort.
“We welcome the announcement of the Pemerkasa package, worth 20 billion ringgit, by our beloved Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin, which focuses on the 20 strategic initiatives to revive the economy and provide support to businesses, âsaid Richard.
âThis is the sixth stimulus package announced since the start of the pandemic. Pemerkasa has come at the right time to revitalize the economy, âhe added.
Richard said the package would bring enormous relief to the country’s tourism players, some of whom are on the verge of “going out of business.”
He is confident that the stimulus package will benefit both small and large businesses in the country.
Richard further suggested that the government relax the criteria for applying for the allowance and that the number of beneficiaries be increased.
“We also hope that the government can accelerate its efforts to pay the wage subsidies,” he added.
SME Sabah chairman NK Foo thanked the prime minister for extending the wage subsidy program for another three months from March 2021.
âDue to closed international borders and interstate travel restrictions, many businesses have yet to recover,â he said.
Foo pointed out that the low infection rates in Sabah and a few other states along with the vaccination program have shown the pandemic is under control.
âWhile the economy is expected to recover soon, it will be some time before SMEs can regain sufficient sales to achieve survival levels.
âTherefore, continued government assistance in the form of a wage subsidy is still needed,â he said.
âAllocating an additional 2.5 billion RM to 5 billion RM for these projects across Sabah and Malaysia to entrepreneurs, class G1 to G4, in the locality where the projects are carried out, will not only help to provide essential cash flows for these SMEs. but it will also help reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus, âhe said.
âThe sixth initiative of providing various forms of microcredit facilities to micro-SMEs is certainly useful; especially for those who need funds to restart or relaunch their business, âhe added.
Chinese Kota Kinabalu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) chairman Datuk Michael Lui said the country had successfully implemented many stimulus packages during the pandemic.
He said the Pemerkasa package would certainly benefit the country’s B40 community.
“The variety of stimulus packages announced during the pandemic has also benefited those in the tourism industry,” Michael said in a statement.
He added that the allocation of RM500 million for microcredit proved that the government really cares about the business community in the country.
“It is hoped that this package will benefit Malaysia as a whole, in particular the state of Sabah,” added Michael.
Positive steps to help economic recovery – KKCCCI
KOTA KINABALU: The President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kota Kinabalu (KKCCCI), Datuk Michael Lui, welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin of a 20 billion dollar economic stimulus plan. RM, the Strategic Program for the Empowerment of the Population and the Economy (Pemerkasa), which aims to help the unemployed and the poor in particular the B40 group, as well as the tourism and retail sectors.
He said Pemerkasa, the sixth aid program introduced by the government since the Covid-19 pandemic, included 20 strategic initiatives to accelerate economic growth, support businesses and continue targeted assistance to those affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
“These assistance programs are positive measures taken by the government to protect the well-being of people, ensure the sustainability of businesses and assist in the economic recovery which has been severely affected by the pandemic.”
He said the RM 5 billion allocated to the immunization program, doubling funding for small-scale projects from RM 2.5 billion to RM 5 billion this year, or RM 1.2 billion in aid to members of the B40 group. who lost their income, RM1. $ 1 billion for wage subsidies and employment incentives, RM920 million for the tourism and retail sectors, as well as a range of aid to the unemployed as well as a low financing facility. Interest rates for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reflect the government’s commitment to ease the burden on individuals and businesses.
He said Pemerkasa offered much broader coverage of financial aid to people whose livelihoods had been affected by Covid-19.
He hoped that the government would ensure that the target groups received aid without delay.
âWe hope that the government will strictly monitor the implementation of the assistance program and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy so that the people can truly benefit from Permerkasa. “
PEMERKASA relieves micro-entrepreneurs
KOTA KINABALU: The latest stimulus package of the Strategic People and Economy Empowerment Program (PEMERKASA) brings a sigh of relief to microentrepreneurs in Sabahan with the announcement of the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) 3.0.
GKP was a federal government initiative to help businesses resume operations after the announcement of the First Order of Movement Control (MCO) under the PRIHATIN program.
Each eligible micro-SME received a one-time assistance of RM3,000 under the PRIHATIN stimulus plan, while GKP 2.0 was also maintained in the previous PERMAI package with a one-time cash assistance of RM1,000.
Siti Nooraliyana Mohd Ali, a 26-year-old hawker in Tanjung Aru Beach, said she managed to buy a freezer, wet ingredients, a display table and improved her packaging with the first batch of GKP .
âThe second GKP is expected to be credited to our personal account this month and PEMERKASA’s announcement that registration will start in April.
âI have been actively selling traditional assorted kuih for four years, but our business was hit hard during the MCO period.
âAs we are not allowed to open our booth during MCO, we have started selling some of our bestsellers online such as Kuih Keria and sambals,â she said.
Nooraliyana, who is a mother of a child, said that applying the GKP was very easy, in fact, she only managed to register for the second batch due to a communication problem.
However, she did not apply for the second phase of GKP as it will be automatic. She hopes that the same method will be used in GKP 3.0 under PEMERKASA.
âFor me, one-time cash assistance shows the government is listening and translating it into action,â she said.
Commenting on the financial support provided by BSN, TEKUN, MARA and SME Corp under this package, Nooraliyana said she hoped the government would seek to improve the system and services of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) because of Many female entrepreneurs in Sabah still depend on this weekly repayment loan service.
As the near-perfect repayment record in the country, AIM should have the opportunity to improve its service by making it more convenient for borrowers, for example by preparing an online payment method, scanning weekly meeting records and also incentives for those who are 100% committed. in their repayments.
âAIM is the easiest way to borrow money, and it’s suitable for hawkers like us who earn daily because we pay off our loans every week. It also helps us focus on what we are doing and teaches us how to be honest in business.
“So I hope the government will seek to empower more women by improving AIM,” she added.