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Call for wage subsidy programme to be extended till end of this year

SHAH ALAM (Sept 19): The wage subsidy programme scheduled to end this month should be extended until December, Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said yesterday.

He said many private employers are still having difficulties with their cash flow and, if the subsidy programme is stopped, it may cause many workers to be laid off.

“The wage subsidy programme helps the companies to keep their employees. If it stops, the workers will lose their jobs. So, by extending the programme, it will inadvertently help reduce the country’s unemployment rate,” he said.

He said the wage subsidy amounted only to 12 percent from the average salary in the private sector, hence the call on the Government to also consider increasing the amount.

“In the United Kingdom, this kind of programme involves 80 percent of the average salary of workers in the private sector, while in Singapore, it is 75 percent,” he said.

On June 23, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz was reported as saying that the wage subsidy programme, which was implemented by the Government to address Covid-19 and its impact on the country's economy, had saved 2.4 million jobs.

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