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Strategic Program to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA)

Updated: May 4, 2021

The RM20 billion Strategic Program to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA) is the Malaysian government's latest initiative to boost economic growth, contribute to businesses and assist Malaysians affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.


1. Strict and Transparent Legal Enforcement

  • Companies registered with MITI for the Safe@Work program are allowed to operate where close contact workers are segregated by placing them in a “safe work bubble” until they are certified negative COVID-19.

  • The Government agrees to provide additional tax deductions to manufacturing companies and service companies regarding manufacturing on-premises and employee hostels’ rental expenses to encourage companies to participate in this initiative. Expenditure eligible for this additional tax deduction is limited to RM50,000.00.

  • Employers who perform COVID-19 testing for their employees are allowed an additional tax deduction on the cost of COVID-19 detection testing for expenses incurred until 31 December 2021.


2. Implementation of Small Projects Nationwide

  • The Government will increase scale project allocation from RM2.5 billion to RM5 billion. Among the small projects dedicated to class G1 to G4 contractors are the repair of infrastructure and public facilities damaged by floods, road repairs, social amenity programs, repair of stratified housing including elevator replacement in public housing, and construction of stalls in local authorities.

3. Prihatin 3.0 Special Grant

  • The Government will continue the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP 3.0), where each eligible micro-enterprise and SME will receive one-off assistance of RM1,000.00.

4. Micro Credit Facility

  • The Government will provide an additional financing fund of RM500 million for micro-credit financing facilities through programs under BSN, TEKUN, MARA and SME Corp.

5. Employment Retention and Employment Incentives

  • The Government will expand the scope of recruitment incentives for temporary employment and gig employment. Among them:

  • Provide an allocation of RM300 million where each employee will receive RM600 per month for a maximum period of 6 months; and

  • Short-term jobs or gig service provider platforms registered with SOCSO will receive RM200 for each employee placed.

  • The Government will allocate RM700 million to extend the Wage Subsidy Program 3.0 for another three months in a more targeted manner.

  • The Government will extend the apprenticeship program for six (6) months, where trainees who participate in the program will be given an incentive of RM800 for a 6 -month apprenticeship period.

6. Revitalizing the Tourism and Retail Sector Tourism

  • The Government will continue tax and service tax exemption on the accommodation provided by hotel operators until 31 December 2021;

  • Tax incentives to tour operator companies will be extended until the year of assessment 2022;

  • Payment of monthly income tax instalments will be deferred from 1 April to 31 December 2021 to selected tourism and industrial companies;

  • Entertainment duty exemption on admission fees to entertainment venues;

  • The scope of special individual income tax relief will be expanded up to RM1,000 to cover travel package purchase expenses through a travel agent registered with MOTAC; and

  • HRDF levy exemption will be given to affected tourism and retail sector companies until June 2021.

  • The Government has agreed to channel a one-off Special Assistance Grant of RM3,000 to more than 5,000 travel agencies registered with MOTAC and provide cash assistance of RM600 on a one-off basis to homestay operators registered with MOTAC.

  • A special discount of 10 percent on electricity bills will be extended for another three (3) months until 30 June 2021.

7. Reducing Company Burden and Empowering Cooperatives

  • The fundraising limit will be increased to RM20 million, and Equity Crowdfunding will be expanded to unlisted limited companies.

  • Listing related fees will be waived for 12 months for companies applying for listing in the MAIN, LEAP or ACE markets. Rebates for annual listing fees for 2021 will also be given to listed companies that have reported their losses.

  • The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) has raised the indebtedness threshold from 10 to 50 thousand ringgit and provided free business registration facilities to the B40 group and full -time IPT students who wish to venture into entrepreneurship.

  • Financing incentives will be provided by the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia up to RM100,000 without collateral and provide repayment flexibility after six months of financing is approved.

  • RM50 million from the Revolving Capital Fund of the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia will be allocated.


8. Strengthening the Business Environment

  • The Government will expand the National Authorized Economic Operator program, which facilitates companies to manage exports and imports and shorten the processing time for investment applications, through the Special Task Force on Business Facilitation or PEMUDAH.

9. Automation and Digitization

  • Bank Negara Malaysia has increased its Targeted Assistance and Rehabilitation Facility by RM2 billion and the Automation and Digitization Facility by RM700 million.

  • A financing scheme for the development of automation, digitisation and use of green technology will be provided by MIDF, amounting to RM200 million. MIDF has also agreed to reduce the loan interest rate from 5 to 3 per cent for a period of 12 months, starting April 1, 2021.

  • An additional fund of RM50 million for the Smart Automation Grant under MIDA will also be provided.

  • An allocation of RM50 million will be given to the Industry4WRD program under MITI.

  • SME Bank will provide a loan fund of RM200 million to finance machines’ purchase with a grant incentive of up to 20 percent on the machine’s value.

10. Promoting Investment and Export Markets

  • MITI will implement eBizLink - a virtual and hybrid digital marketing platform, and the Globepreneur initiative.

  • For each company participating in the international exhibition platform, the Government will raise the Market Development Grant ceiling or MDG from RM300,000 to RM500,000. A matching grant of RM50 million will be given to developing the aerospace and medical device industries.


11. Women Concerned

  • The Government will provide RM30 million to help women entrepreneurs transition to the online market. BSN will also provide RM50 million for the PEMERKASA-NITA Micro Financing Scheme to encourage women entrepreneurs to venture into business.

  • An allocation of RM10 million in the form of a 70 per cent matching fund for women entrepreneurs and self -employed women.

12. Youth Concerned

  • An allocation of RM10 million will be increased for the Urban Community Economic Empowerment Program or PEKB.

  • The allocation for the Bumiputera Youth Entrepreneur Bud Program will be increased to produce 250 new Bumiputera youth entrepreneurs. The New Gen Entrepreneur Online Bootcamp program will be introduced for preparation training and online business coaching to 2,000 youth entrepreneurs.

  • BSN also provides the PEMERKASA-BELIA Micro Financing Scheme with a rate as low as 3 percent.

View this announcement in Bahasa Melayu here.

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