Economy, Asia - Pacific

Malaysia announces $3.7B economic aid package

Move comes amid surge in COVID-19 cases, prime minister says 22 initiatives will be implemented under new package

Pizaro Gozali Idrus   | 18.01.2021
Malaysia announces $3.7B economic aid package

JAKARTA, Indonesia

The Malaysian prime minister announced a new economic relief package worth RM15 billion ($3.7 billion) on Monday as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the country.

Addressing the nation in a televised speech, Muhyiddin Yassin said a total of 22 initiatives will be implemented under the new package.

“They are based on three main objectives - firstly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, secondly to protect the people’s welfare and thirdly to support business continuity," the premier said.

This came as Malaysia struggles to curb its third wave of coronavirus infections, with four-digit daily spike in cases bringing the total to more than 160,000.

Muhyiddin said that since COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the government has launched four economic stimulus packages worth RM305 billion ($73.2 billion), or more than 20% of gross domestic product.

He said the aid, which included RM55 billion ($13,5 billion) in fiscal injections, was issued to help the people, business world, and protect the economic sector from the impact of the pandemic.

The president added that government expects the current economic blow will not be as bad as in 2020.

Malaysia’s daily COVID-19 cases topped 4,000 for the first time on Saturday.

The country recorded 3,306 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 161,740, while four new fatalities taking the death toll to 605.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language service in Jakarta

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