Malaysian firms urged to apply for Wage Subsidy Programme funding
The government has channelled RM20 billion ($5 billion) to 357,402 employers through the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU), protecting the jobs of 2,951,245 Malaysian workers, according to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
He said the government would continue the PSU initiative, with pay-outs based on total sales or revenue in October 2021 – December 2021, compared with any month in 2019 (before the outbreak of Covid-19).
Tengku Zafrul urged companies to continue to apply to the scheme, which closes to new applicants on March 31, 2022, even if they weren’t on the government’s designated list. He said: “Employers from sectors and industrial activities that are not listed but are still affected due to the spread of Covid-19 can still submit an appeal online to Socso.
“With an allocation of RM600 million, this initiative will benefit more than 26,000 employers and 330,000 employees,” he said in the 81st Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) report.
Tengku Zafrul also said the government will continue its training and skills upgrading efforts for 2022 with a total allocation of RM1.1 billion targeting 220,000 job opportunities.
Meanwhile, the government has allocated RM600 million for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are still affected by Covid-19.
“As of December 31, there are 701 applications for this funding, and out of this total, 340 applications had been approved with a total funding of RM67.5 million,” he said.
Malaysians optimistic for 2022 prospects
Meanwhile, a recent survey by market analysts Ipsos found that 82% of Malaysians are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for them than 2021.
The survey polled 500 Malaysians on ‘Predictions for 2022’ also found that 75% felt that the global economy will be stronger this year compared with last year.
The survey also polled 22,023 people across the world, and it found that 77% felt that 2022 will be a more promising year for them. Among Malaysian respondents, 77% of them agreed that 2021 was a bad year for their country.
Lars Erik Lie, Associate Director Ipsos Public Affairs, said: “One year ago, there was widespread optimism that 2021 would be the year that the world had turned a corner in its struggles with Covid-19. With the first vaccines being rolled out, the end of the pandemic seemed to be in sight.
“However, 2021 did not turn out as many had hoped — boosted by new variants, Covid-19 impacted our lives as much, if not more than in 2020. As Malaysians and their fellow global citizens look back, the verdict is that 2021 was a year to forget,” he said.
Lie said despite the disappointment, 2022 comes with renewed optimism, with 82% of Malaysians expecting this year to be better than the last.
“The belief in a better year to come is echoed among people across the world,” he said.