KUALA LUMPUR: The additional expenditure of RM20 billion that was approved through the Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) (Amendment) Bill 2020, among others, is to enable the government to purchase vaccines for Malaysians.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said that it will also be channelled as additional funds for frontliners.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all MPs who unanimously supported this bill. The approval was very much needed in the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 and to ensure the safety of Malaysians.

“In the midst of all the debates, I deeply appreciate the views and suggestions of all MPs, and the government will take everything under consideration,” he said when presenting the 34th Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (LAKSANA) report through his Facebook page today.

The report is the last report of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN), National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) and Kita Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package (KITA PRIHATIN) issued this year.

Tengku Zafrul said the government is also prepared to increase aid if there is a need in the future, in the interests of the people, businesses and the national economy.

Touching on the PENJANA Tourism Financing, worth RM1 billion specially for small and medium entreprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs, Tengku Zafrul said that 537 SMEs have applied for the financing as of Dec 11.

Of the total, 245 applications have been approved, with a total financing of RM49.9 million.

On the Hiring Incentive and Training Programme, he said that as of Dec 11, 106,443 workers have successfully secured jobs via the programme.

“The total includes 85,242 people aged under 40 and 13,513 individuals aged between 40 and 60, as well as 6,420 apprentices and 1,268 Persons with Disabilities (PwD).

“The industries and main sectors that have hired workers include the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors,” he said. -Bernama