Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a fresh round of stimulus on Wednesday, in the hope of breathing life into a pandemic-hit economy that last year saw its worst contraction since the Asian Financial Crisis.
Malaysia's economy declined 5.6% in 2020, its worst performance since a 7.4% fall in 1998, as the government imposed strict movement curbs for most of the year to rein in the spread of Covid-19.
Muhyiddin said the government would roll out 20 billion ringgit ($4.86 billion) worth of stimulus packages, including a 11 billion ringgit fiscal injection.
"At this stage, the economic recovery strategy will focus on efforts to revitalise and jumpstart the economy," Muhyiddin said in a televised address.
Under the new stimulus plan, the government will raise its national Covid-19 immunisation budget to 5 billion ringgit, from the initial 3 billion ringgit laid out in its 2021 budget.
The additional funds are expected to help Malaysia reach its target of vaccinating 80% of its 32 million population by December, instead of February next year, Muhyiddin said.
The government will also offer more cash aid, subsidies, matching grants and training for individuals and businesses, while applying movement restrictions only in areas with confirmed coronavirus cases.
This was the second round of stimulus packages announced this year after a $3.7 billion plan rolled out in January.
Last year's stimulus was worth 305 billion ringgit, ranging from cash handouts to wage subsidies and loan moratoria to help the public and businesses weather the impacts of the pandemic.
($1 = 4.1190 ringgit)