Interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir announced RM20 billion Economic Stimulus Package yesterday so economic risks associated with Covid-19 outbreak can be addressed effectively and that the economy stays afloat amidst this crisis and national political unrest.
Government to invest in and leverage ICT to help boost economy
Several plans have been put in place to ensure Malaysia’s economy will continue to be on the right track to sustainable growth. One recurring focus in the Prime Minister’s speech was to leverage and invest in ICT to keep the nation competitive and productive.
RM50 million to subsidise short courses in digital skills
The Government encourages employers to further invest in raising the productivity of the workforce during this economic slowdown. The Government will provide deductions on expenses incurred on approved tourism-related training. It will also provide up to RM100 million to fund an additional 40,000 employees from the tourism and other affected sectors.
They will also provide RM50 million to subsidise short courses in digital skills and highly skilled courses. This incentive is expected to benefit 100,000 Malaysians.
Entrepreneurs to receive E-Commerce support
The Government will allocate grants of RM1,000 to 10,000 local entrepreneurs to promote the sale of their products on e-commerce platforms as well as allocating RM20 million to Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for Perkhidmatan eDagang Setempat (PeDAS) programme to transform Pusat Internet Desa into e-commerce hubs.
Government will promote Automation and Digitalisation
To enhance greater national competitiveness, the Government will promote higher value-added private sector investments. Bank Negara Malaysia will provide an SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility of RM300 million at an interest cost of 3.75%. The Government will provide accelerated capital allowances over a two-year period on expenses incurred on machinery and equipment including ICT.
Government to Invest in Connectivity and Smart City Initiatives
Agencies and Government-linked companies will also accelerate planned investment projects for 2020 which includes the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) which will open for bids quota of 1,400MW for solar power generation. This is expected to involve RM5 billion of private investments and generate 25,000 jobs.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will implement up to RM3 billion on works related to the National Fibre and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).
Government-linked companies such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad will invest RM13 billion in 2020, including accelerating projects such as LED street lights, transmission lines and rooftop solar installations.