Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 7 September 2020
One Million Unemployed Malaysians By September Requires 3 Economic Shields Costing RM31.4 Billion To Save Jobs And Livelihood, Comprising RM1,000 Monthly Aid, Extension Of Bank Loan Moratorium By 6 Months And Work Hiring Incentives.
One million unemployed Malaysians by September requires 3 economic shields costing RM31.4 billion to save jobs and livelihood, comprising RM1,000 monthly aid, extension of the bank loan moratorium by another 6 months as well as work hiring incentives for employers and employees.
With the unemployment rate at 4.9% or 773,200 in June 2020, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that as of September, the number of job seekers in the country could rise to one million.
Saravanan attributed the increase of unemployed Malaysians to 1 million, to an additional 350,000 fresh graduates and 200,000 Malaysians returning from abroad. One million unemployed Malaysians would be the highest in history and requires immediate action by the government through increased borrowing of tens of billions of ringgit.
DAP proposes 3 economic shields costing RM31.4 billion:
1. Increase in monthly welfare aid to RM1,000
One, immediate implementation of the increase in monthly welfare aid from RM200-300 to RM1,000 proposed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin costing RM12 billion. This will provide an immediate safety net for unemployed workers.
2. Extension of moratorium by another 6 months
Two, an extension of the moratorium of bank loan repayments by another 6 months when it expires on 30 September, costing RM6.4 billion that will help 8 million Malaysian individuals and companies. Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said that the value of the loan moratorium is RM78.14 billion as at Aug 21, 2020. RM27.35 billion was utilised by 300,000 businesses while RM50.79 billion was utilised by 7.7 million Malaysian individuals.
3. Work hiring incentives under Malaysia@Work
Three, work hiring incentives under Malaysia@Work of RM500 a month to employees and RM300 to employers to encourage them to hire local workers as proposed by PH in the 2020 Budget. Expanding this scheme to cover 600,000 Malaysian workers and their employers would cost RM13 billion. This would also help the more than 500,000 youths who are unemployed, making up a large proportion of the 4.9% unemployment rate.
Malaysia is the worst performing economy in ASEAN with a GDP contraction of 17.1% in the 2nd quarter. To save and pull the economy out of our current economic recession, the government’s financial focus should shift from controlling our debt levels and fiscal deficit, to borrowing more money. Borrowing RM31.4 billion to help the 1 million unemployed Malaysians may be costly but necessary to save Malaysian jobs, businesses and livelihood.
Lim Guan Eng,
Member of Parliament for Bagan.