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Govt to focus on lowering jobless rate by providing more employment opportunities - Tengku Zafrul

13/02/2022 08:43 PM


KOTA KINABALU, Feb 13  -- The government will continue to focus on lowering the unemployment rate by providing more employment opportunities as well as efforts to revive the economic sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said the commitment, among others, could be seen through the Jamin Kerja Keluarga Malaysia initiative which would provide 600,000 job opportunities involving an allocation of RM4.8 billion.

The initiative would be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Feb 19.

"Through the Department of Statistics Malaysia, we have recorded a drop in the unemployment rate in December (2021) to 4.2 per cent compared to 4.3 per cent in November.

"We know job creation is the foundation of economic recovery and that is why job creation is one of the main priorities in the budget. In Budget 2021, the government had targeted creating 500,000 jobs and Alhamdulillah, we have achieved that target.

"This year, in the spirit of the job guarantee concept, the Prime Minister will launch the programme to provide 600,000 jobs, an increase of 100,000 over the target in 2021," he told reporters when visiting the Kota Kinabalu Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) here today.

Also present was Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa.

Tengku Zafrul said the government has continued the MySTEP programme this year by offering short-term contract employment opportunities in the public sector and government-linked companies (GLCs) in an effort to increase the marketability of job seekers.

He said the government is targeting 80,000 job opportunities to be offered through the programme this year compared to 50,000 the previous year.

In another development, Tengku Zafrul said the government would continue to provide assistance to tourism sector players, especially in Sabah, through various initiatives including wage subsidy programmes to enable them to revive growth in the sector.

According to him, many sectors of the domestic economy has shown recovery based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter of 3.6 per cent announced recently. However, the tourism sector is still not on course.

“We had achieved the projection of 3 to 4 per cent growth for 2021. This year the projection (of GDP growth) is between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent.

"We notice that many sectors have recovered, but the tourism sector has not yet," he said, adding that the government has allocated various incentives for the tourism sector in Budget 2022 amounting to RM1.6 billion.

Earlier, Tengku Zafrul met Sabah tourism sector entrepreneurs to listen to the problems and challenges faced operating in the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Sabah tourism entrepreneurs, among others, hoped that the government assistance would be given in a targeted format, and at the same time, hoped that the government would reopen the border to enable more foreign tourists to the state.


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