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On 17 March,  Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a RM20 billion Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA), nearly 2 months after the announcement of PERMAI assistance package for MCO 2.0. PEMERKASA is the fifth stage of the 6Rs strategy (Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise and Reform) of the country’s economic recovery plan. This new assistance brings the total of stimulus rolled out by the government to RM340 billion since the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

The new stimulus package has 20 initiatives with the following five key focus:

  1. Controlling the spread of Covid-19
  2. Driving economic recovery
  3. Support SMEs and Micro SMEs
  4. Secure employments
  5. Encourage entrepreneurship

Key Highlights of PEMERKASA package in supporting business continuity include:

  1. 12-months waiver of listing fees for companies requesting to list on Main Market, ACE Market and LEAP Market. The Securities Commission Malaysia recently announced further details on this assistance. Click here to read more.
  2. Extension of Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 for 3 months for sectors affected by the MCO 2.0 such as tourism, trade wholesale, and retails sectors.
  3. Tax deductions up to RM50,000 on the company’s expenses of the workers’ hostel premise for manufacturing companies and manufacturing-related service firms under the Safe@Work initiative.
  4. Tax deduction for employees’ Covid-19 screening costs has been extended to 31 December 2021.
  5. Three-month extension of 10% electricity bill discount till end of June 2021 for hoteliers, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airlines offices and tour and travel agencies.
  6. Exemption of HRDF levy until end of June 2021 for affected tourism and retail players.


The summaries below provide a good overview of the PEMERKASA assistance package:

  1. PwC TaXavvy, Issues 7-2021 | Rakyat and Economic Strategic Empowerment Programme (PEMERKASA) – Tax Measures
  2. KPMG Tax Whiz | Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA)
  3. EY Tax Alert (Special Edition) | Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA)
  4. Deloitte Tax Espresso – Special Alert | PEMERKASA – Tax Related Measures

Refer to PEMERKASA infographic here.

Full speech of the PEMERKASA Assistance Package is available here.

Photo by CK Yeo on Unsplash

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