Malaysia: Cabinet Agrees to Continue Aid for Low-Income Households, Small Businesses


In response to the ongoing economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government has been providing various forms of financial assistance to vulnerable populations. These measures have included direct cash transfers, wage subsidies, and assistance for businesses.

Recent Developments

On January 18, 2023, the Malaysian Cabinet met to discuss the extension of these assistance programs. After careful deliberation, the Cabinet has decided to continue providing aid to low-income households and small businesses for another six months.

Aid for Low-Income Households

  • The Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) program will continue to provide financial assistance to low-income households.
  • The program will be extended for six months, from January to June 2023.
  • Eligible households will receive cash payments ranging from RM300 to RM900, depending on their income and household size.

Aid for Small Businesses

  • The Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) grant scheme will be extended for six months, from January to June 2023.
  • The grant will provide financial assistance to small businesses with an annual turnover of less than RM300,000.
  • Eligible businesses will receive one-off payments of RM1,000 or RM1,500, depending on their business size.

Other Measures

In addition to extending the BKM and GKP programs, the Cabinet also discussed other measures to support economic recovery. These measures include:

  • Extension of the electricity and water subsidy for low-income households: The subsidy will be extended for another six months, from January to June 2023.
  • Introduction of a new micro-financing scheme for small businesses: The scheme will provide affordable financing to small businesses with limited access to traditional banking services.
  • Expansion of the MyDigital program: The program aims to enhance digital adoption and literacy among businesses and individuals.

Rationale for Extension

The Cabinet's decision to extend aid for low-income households and small businesses is based on several factors:

  • Continued Economic Challenges: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Malaysian economy, particularly on low-income households and small businesses.
  • Inflation and Rising Cost of Living: Inflation has been rising in Malaysia, resulting in increased costs of goods and services. This has put a strain on low-income households and small businesses with limited resources.
  • Need for Continued Support: While the Malaysian economy is recovering, it is still vulnerable to external factors and uncertainties. Continued support is necessary to ensure that low-income households and small businesses remain resilient.

Impact of Measures

The extension of aid for low-income households and small businesses is expected to provide much-needed financial relief and support. It will help to mitigate the impact of economic challenges and support economic recovery.

  • Reduced Financial Burden for Low-Income Households: The BKM cash payments will provide a lifeline for low-income households struggling to meet their basic needs.
  • Support for Small Businesses: The GKP grants will enable small businesses to maintain operations, preserve jobs, and invest in growth.
  • Stimulation of Economic Activity: The aid measures will stimulate economic activity by increasing consumer spending and supporting businesses.


The Malaysian government's decision to continue providing aid for low-income households and small businesses is a commendable step towards addressing the ongoing economic challenges. The extension of these programs will provide much-needed financial support to vulnerable populations and contribute to the recovery of the Malaysian economy.

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