KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): The government will formulate additional measures in the near future to provide targeted assistance to vulnerable groups, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

He said the additional measures are aimed at assisting the poor as well as those who lost their income and increase support for businesses, especially businesses that are still unable to operate and businesses that are in the process of reopening after the movement control order (MCO).

“From the economic aspect, the government has introduced four economic stimulus packages worth RM305 billion and one assistance package worth RM15 billion. This does not take into account the largest budget in Malaysian history worth RM322.5 billion.

“All this is proof of the government’s determination to ensure the welfare of the people and restore our economy which has been impacted due to the pandemic,” he said in the 43rd Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (LAKSANA) report today.

He noted that this week marked the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

“During this period, we faced a crisis that we had never experienced before, namely the Covid-19 pandemic. The spread of this epidemic not only resulted in a health crisis but also an economic crisis.

“As a caring government, our main challenge in managing this crisis is to balance between the lives and the livelihoods of the people,” he said.

In regard to the i-Sinar initiative, Tengku Zafrul said applications made before Feb 25 will be given approval in stages from March 2.

“It involves applications that are still waiting for approval and those which were not approved before improvements were made to the i-Sinar criteria.

“New applications reflecting the abolition of the criteria will be open from March 8 to all members under the age of 55, subject to the balance in the member’s Account 1,” he added.

From March 8, 2021, members will be given the flexibility to make amendments to their application details, such as the amount applied for, bank information, address, telephone number and payment mode, on the i-Sinar Online site.