Malaysia announces $36B in aid after extending lockdown

Jun 28, 2021, 6:18 AM | Updated: 1:50 pm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s leader announced a 150 billion ringgit ($36.2 billion) financial package on Monday to help needy households and businesses and bolster vaccination efforts after a national coronavirus lockdown was extended indefinitely.

The country has been under a near-total lockdown since June 1 that was due to expire Monday, but Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said over the weekend that it will not be eased until new infections fall below 4,000 a day and at least 10% of the population has been vaccinated.

New daily coronavirus cases have come down from a peak of over 9,000 a month ago, but still remain high. The health ministry reported 5,218 new infections on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 739,266, including 5,001 deaths.

Muhyiddin said the financial package will include a 10 billion ringgit ($2.4 billion) fiscal injection. He said cash handouts will be given to 11 million households, senior citizens, a million workers who lost their jobs and another million small businesses.

An additional 3.8 billion ringgit ($916 million) will be used for wage subsidies in addition to loan moratoriums, tax breaks, grants and other measures to support businesses, he said.

Muhyiddin said the government will spend another 1 billion ringgit ($241 million) to ramp up its inoculation program, including 400 million ringgit ($96 million) to buy more vaccines. This will be enough to cover 130% of the country’s 33 million people, including young people age 12 to 18, he said.

“The government is working hard, even within limitations, to ensure the country remains on the right track of recovery … vaccination will be the key to our success in fighting COVID-19,” he said. So far, 6% of the population has been fully vaccinated and another 15% has received one dose, he said.

Many businesses have shut down due to the lockdown, the second in over a year. The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for Malaysia to 4.5% this year from an earlier estimate of 6%.

Earlier Monday, the eastern Sabah state on Borneo island said it will ease lockdown restrictions. State governments have jurisdiction over the lockdown implementation. Sabah is the only state so far that has decided to loosen curbs.

Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor said more sectors including rubber, timber and furniture factories will be allowed to reopen from Tuesday. He said dine-in service will also be allowed at restaurants and hotels, hair salons will be able to operate and sports that do not involve physical contact such as golf and fishing can resume. Other restrictions will remain in place.

Sabah, a resource-rich but poor state, has recorded fewer than 200 new coronavirus cases a day.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE- an aircraft of low-cost Akasa air, the latest venture of veteran stock market investor and In...
Associated Press

Veteran Indian investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62

NEW DELHI (AP) — Veteran stock market investor and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, nicknamed India’s own Warren Buffet, died Sunday in Mumbai city, Press Trust of India news agency reported. He was 62. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes for the business magnate, who had an estimated net worth of $5.8 billion, according to […]
3 hours ago
Volunteers clear rubble on the second floor of Zhanna and Serhiy Dynaeva's house which was destroye...
Associated Press

In Ukraine, rebuilding starts with neighbors’ help

NOVOSELIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — As battles raged around Kyiv, one Russian advance was stopped in front of Maria Metla’s home. Artillery gutted most of the house, while the rest was pulverized by tank fire. Metla, 66, is now counting on her neighbors to have somewhere to live this winter. Crews of volunteers turn up on […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Saudi Aramco engineers and journalists look at the Hawiyah Natural Gas Liquids Recovery Plan...
Associated Press

High oil prices help Saudi Aramco earn $88B in first half

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi energy company Aramco said Sunday its profits jumped 90% in the second quarter compared to the same time last year, helping its half-year earnings reach nearly $88 billion. The increase is a boon for the kingdom and the crown prince’s spending power as people around the world pay […]
1 day ago
Presidential candidate Raila Odinga attends Sunday mass in St. Francis church in Nairobi, Kenya, Su...
Associated Press

Brief scuffles slow tallying in Kenya’s close election

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s peaceful presidential election saw a brief disruption late Saturday when riot police responded to scuffles at the national tallying center amid tensions over the close results. An agent for longtime opposition leader and candidate Raila Odinga announced from the lectern that the tallying center was the “scene of a crime” […]
1 day ago
A Kyrgyz woman and her dog stand near a traditional yurt where she lives with members of her family...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Fermented horse milk season on in Kyrgyzstan

SUUSAMYR, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — High up in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the season for making the fermented drink known as kumis is in full swing. Connoisseurs of kumis, an important part of nomadic tribes’ diets for untold centuries, say the Suusamyr valley is home to the best version of the drink. In winter, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Reports: 1 dead, 17 hurt in crash outside Pennsylvania bar

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) — One person has died and another 17 people were injured after a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar on Saturday for an event to raise money for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier this month, authorities said. WNEP-TV said the crash occurred outside the Intoxicology […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Malaysia announces $36B in aid after extending lockdown