KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — The government has channelled RM20.107 billion to 357,402 employers through the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) to maintain the employment of 2,951,245 local workers in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate among Malaysian workers.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government would continue the PSU initiative based on total sales or revenue in October 2021 until December 2021 compared to any month in 2019 until 2021 before the outbreak of Covid-19.

“Applications have been open since January 1, 2022 until March 31, 2022 but employers from sectors and industrial activities that are not listed but are still affected due to the spread of Covid-19 can still submit an appeal online to Socso.

“With an allocation of RM600 million, this initiative will benefit more than 26,000 employers and 330,000 employees,” he said in the 81st Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) report released today.

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Through PSU 4.0, a total of RM2.148 billion has been channelled to 142,539 employers to continue operating and maintain employment for 1,698,999 employees as of December 31, 2021, said Tengku Zafrul.

The government through various ministries and government agencies will continue its training and skills upgrading efforts for 2022 with a total allocation of RM1.1 billion targeting 220,000 job opportunities.

Among the initiatives that will be implemented are training and skills upgrading under the Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), Regional Corridor, Perbadanan Hal Ehwal Bekas Angkatan Tentera (Perhebat), Ministry of Higher Education, Polytechnic Education Department and Community Colleges and others, he said.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated RM600 million for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are still affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

“As of December 31, there are 701 applications for this funding, and out of this total, 340 applications had been approved with a total funding of RM67.5 million,” he said.

According to Bank Negara Malaysia, a total of RM400 million from the original RM1 billion fund was reallocated for the Disaster Relief Facility (DRF) to reduce the financial burden and restore business operations of SMEs affected by floods and the SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF) to provide incentives to SMEs to automate processes and digitalise operations to increase productivity and efficiency.