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“We Saved 2.9 Million Jobs During The Pandemic”, Says HR Minister

“We Saved 2.9 Million Jobs During The Pandemic”, Says HR Minister

RM18 billion allocated to help employers retain their workers.

Fernando Fong

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As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in the country gradually, Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri M Saravanan heralded what has become a lifesaver for the people: the government’s wage subsidy to handle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a minister, if asked what my achievements are, we have saved and protected 2.9 million workers with a (government) contribution of more than RM18 billion.

A foreign worker hard at work at a farm in Cameron Highlands. (TRP/Fernando Fong)

“The country saved them (employees) and more than 300,000 companies from going bankrupt,” he said.

Saravanan remarked in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Kulim Bandar Baharu) during an oral question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

With its massive taxpayer-funded allocation, the Wage Subsidy Program (PSU) has been trumpeted by the MIC president as the pivot.

However, the Wage Subsidy Program did not prevent more people from losing their jobs.

According to Saravanan in his response to Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Rahim (BN-Baling), the number of unemployed increased by 9,500 people, bringing the total to 778,200 people.

An unemployed man gathering scraps to eke out a living on the streets of Ipoh. (TRP/Fernando Fong)

In fighting for the people, the government set up the National Employment Council (MPN) to create 500,000 job opportunities.

The Special Task Force on Human Resources and Entrepreneurship by Saravanan’s ministry has achieved a performance indicator (KPI) of 98 percent as of Aug 31.

A total of 359,677 out of the target of 367,500 for job placement and income creation were met, said Saravanan in nailing down the numbers.

The PSU is paid monthly to employers who continue their operations and retain their employees despite being affected by COVID-19.

Only employers registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) or the Local Authority (PBT) before June 1 are eligible.

The claim is limited to a maximum of 500 employees per employer.

Applications for the wage subsidy can be made through the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

Version 4.0 of the PSU is open for application till October 31.

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