On March 27, prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a RM230 billion economic stimulus package, of which RM25 billion was to be channelled to ease the burdens of the rakyat and businesses in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the several initiatives listed was RM60 million in financial aid for 120,000 ride-hailing drivers in the country, with each receiving a one-off payment of RM500 to assist them during the movement control order (MCO) period, which has seen ridership effectively grind to a halt.

Now, some 90,000 full-time ride-hailing drivers will receive the RM500 cash aid under the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package next week, according to finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

He said that the government will disburse the cash aid to all eligible ride-hailing drivers on April 20 after receiving feedback from 40 ride-hailing providers, The Star reports. He said the aid was for those earning at least RM1,200 a month to ensure that more ride-hailing drivers, particularly in the rural areas, would be eligible.

He added that this payment was in addition to the one-off RM600 payment for trishaw operators as well as taxi and tourist drivers, which was part of an earlier RM20 billion stimulus package announced in February.

Tengku Zafrul said the payments for the latter were being made this month and were proceeding as planned. “As of April 12, some 25,000 taxi drivers or 86%, and 7,500 or 63%, of tourist drivers have received the payments. As for trishaw operators, 100% of payments have been made,” he said.