Search Articles

Find tips, tools and how-to guides on every aspect of property

7 cash assistance and government subsidy programme under PEMERKASA


The recently announced PEMERKASA stimulus package worth RM20 billion includes cash assistance for entrepreneurs as well as a smartphone and petrol subsidy for Malaysian individuals. Check out which financial aid applies to you!

© bacho12345 | 123rf

In just three months of 2021, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has already announced 2 types of financial assistance for the rakyat. As our economy recovers, the government plans to jump-start things with Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi (PEMERKASA).

In his speech, the PM said that the Malaysian government current 5 focuses are to reduce the spread of COVID-19, drive economic recovery, strengthen national competitiveness, ensure a regional and community inclusion agenda, and transform the economy. Here are the initiatives that have been listed for you!

1. One-off payment for those with affected incomes

Worry not, the government offers 2 types of a one-off payment for those with affected incomes. Do note that this is only individuals ages 21 to 60 years old (you don’t even have to apply!).

If you’re one of the affected (must be within the B40 category), you will get a RM500 cash assistance. For Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) recipients earning less than RM1,000, they will get RM500 cash assistance as well – this will start in June 2021.

2. Penjana Kerjaya 2.0 SOCSO to include temporary & gig workers

Did you know that the government managed to put 200 thousand workers in the formal sector during the global pandemic?

Isn’t that something! Even better, the government has decided to further widen the scope for this hiring incentive:

  • Allocation of RM300 million for 60 thousand workers (RM600 monthly within 6 months)
  • RM200 to new hires for companies that offer temporary and gig employments (must register with SOCSO)

READ: EIS PERKESO: How to claim job loss benefits & 4 other SOCSO claims you need to know about

3. Handphone (smartphones only) subsidy is increased!

© marctran | 123rf

If you must know, the government has increased the subsidy for when you buy a smartphone from RM180 to RM300. This is to reduce the digital gap so more families can buy for their children should they need it, especially as everything is online!

This subsidy will be increased starting from May 2021.

4. Youth community to get RM150, instead of RM100

Since the government has been pushing the rakyat to adopt using an e-wallet (cashless for the win!), they have decided to increase the e-wallet credit to RM150 from RM100 – under the eBelia Programme which is for Malaysian citizens between 18 to 20 years old. Like before, you can get it via Grab, Touch ‘N’ Go and Boost.

It’s expected to be credited into your account in June 2021.

CHECK OUT: How to set up utilities in your new home after receiving Vacant Possession (VP)?

5. Initiatives for SME entrepreneurs, Women & Youth business owners

Since the pandemic started, the fate of entrepreneurs has been unpredictable, to say the least. Many have lost a huge portion if not all of their income during the enhanced MCO.  The aids for them are:

  • Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) 3.0- one-off payment worth RM1,000 (application open starting 1 April 2021 for SMEs that didn’t receive GKP 2.0 previously)
  • TEKUN Nasional has allocated an additional budget of RM60 million:
    • Small-scale businesses can borrow up to RM5,000 under the Informal Funding Scheme
    • TEKUN Mobilepreneur expanded to include the financing of new purchases or repairs of motorcycles up to RM10,000 (100% excise duty exemption starting 1 April – 31 December 2021 for motorcycles 150cc and below)
    • Introduces TEKUN POS-preneur programme for those who earning through delivery contracts (RM20,000 for vehicles, RM50,000 for van/lorry)
  • Majlis Amanah Rakyat also has a Micro Prihatin Business Financing Scheme to help 1,000 SMEs. You guys can borrow up to RM50,000 with an interest rate of 3%)
  • Also can borrow from SME Corp up to RM250,000 with an interest rate of 3%

NOTE: If you are still studying (a part of the B40 category) but interested to open a business, just register with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). It’s FREE!

Women entrepreneurs

  • The government will inject RM30 million to help women entrepreneurs digitise their businesses via SME, MicroSME e-Commerce Campaign and the Shop Malaysia Online programme
  • Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) will provide RM50 million for PEMERKASA-NITA Microfinance Scheme to encourage more women to take up entrepreneurship
  • Women entrepreneurs can also apply for The Self-Employment Social Security Scheme SOCSO to get finance up to 70% or RM10 million

Youth entrepreneurs

  • Can apply for entrepreneurship and preparedness training under Pemerkasaan Ekonomi Komuniti Bandar Programme (allocated with RM10 million)
  • Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera will also get an extra allocation to train 250 new entrepreneurs
  • Introduce New Gen Entrepreneur Online Bootcamp programme to train and prepare 2,000 youth entrepreneurs online
  • BSN also offers PEMERKASABELIA Micro Financing Scheme where youth entrepreneurs can borrow up to RM50,000 with an interest rate of 3%.

6. Petrol Subsidy

petrol station
tuahlensa | 123rf

The petrol price for RON 95 and Diesel has been set at RM2.05 and RM2.15 per litre respectively. The government will help pay the petrol price subsidy around 30 cents per litre.

Before this, the ceiling price for petrol was removed – It used to be RM2.08 (RON 95) and RM2.18 (Diesel) back during Mahathir’s time.

With that, the petrol price for RON 95 and Diesel will not increase anymore moving forward (fingers crossed!).

MORE: 16 family homes near LRT stations that won’t cost you more than RM500,000

7. Financial aid for Tourism & Retail sectors

No doubt, the tourism sector has been one of the worst-hit industries. It has been reported in the media that quite a few hotel operators have either shut down or resorted to selling food by the roadside or in housing areas to get by!  I mean, what else can they do to sustain the business?

Hence, these new financial aids under PEMERKASA will be very much welcomed:

  • Extension of the exemption for tourism tax and service tax for accommodation provided by hotel operators until 31 December 2021
  • Entertainment duty exemption on admission fees to entertainment venues
  • Special individual income tax relief up to RM1,000 to cover the purchase of tourism packages bought from travel agents registered under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC)
  • One-off Special Assistance Grant of RM3,000 to more than 5,000 tourism agencies registered with MOTAC
  • One-off assistance of RM600 to homestay operators registered under MOTAC

Read this article next: Must you declare your rental income to LHDN & Landlord tax incentives

*This article was repurposed from “7 PEMERKASA Initiatives You Can Take Advantage Of!“, first published on |

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More Articles