Entrepreneurs, Freelancers Worst Hit by Virus Impact in Malaysia

Yudith Ho
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Entrepreneurs, Freelancers Worst Hit by Virus Impact in Malaysia

(Bloomberg) -- Freelancers and entrepreneurs are the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Malaysia.

Statistics department found 46.6% of self-employed workers lost their livelihood while 23.8% of entrepreneurs reported the same, according to a March 18-31 survey. Among the sectors, agriculture was most affected with 21.9% of respondents saying they’ve lost their jobs, followed by services industry with 15%.

The government will use the special survey to inform policy moves in addressing the impact of the virus outbreak, which has already led the country to impose restrictions on people’s movement through April 14. Malaysia has rolled out 260 billion ringgit ($60 billion) of stimulus packages, including wage subsidies and loan payment deferment, in a bid to bolster the economy.

Most of the respondents said they’re not prepared for the lockdown to be extended, except for those working for government-linked companies and multinational firms. About 66% of self-employed workers and entrepreneurs said their income has dropped by half or more, followed by 32.6% of private sector workers, 20% of state-linked company employees and 18% of those working for international firms.

The survey had 168,182 respondents aged 15 years or older.

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