Weekly Highlights

PEMULIH will not revive economy


Timid Fiscal Injection Of RM 10 Billion And Failure To Plan By Treating The Symptoms Rather Than The Cause Of The Economic Recession In The Pemulih Financial Relief Package, Is No Different From Planning To Fail To Revive The Economy.

The timid fiscal injection of RM10 billion and failure to plan by treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the economic recession, in the Pemulih financial relief package announced by Prime Minister Mahiaddin Md Yasin recently, is no different from planning to fail to revive the economy.

Mahiaddin had hinted a month ago that the total economic losses from Movement Control Order(MCO) 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 can cost the economy up to RM500 billion in losses.

With direct fiscal injection of a paltry RM83 billion out of the total combined RM530 billion from the 8 economic stimulus packages announced since last year, it comes as no surprise that there is no discernible positive impact on our economy.

By failing to address the causes and treating the symptoms, the government is caught in a vicious never-ending cycle of repeated MCOs and financial relief packages, until we will not only deplete our sources of revenues to lift the economy out of the recession, but also exhaust our resources to fight COVID-19.

The government should realise that the real cause of our current economic recession is connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only when we pour resources to deal with COVID-19 by adopting World Health Organisation’s recommendation to ‘test, trace, isolate and treat’, as well as a swift and smooth vaccination programme, can we hope to win the war against COVID-19.

The failure to spend sufficiently to ‘test, trace, isolate and treat’ and the lackadaisical procurement of vaccines, coupled with the failure to comply with COVID-19 SOPs and double-standards in enforcement of MCO restrictions, have caused the current total lockdown to abysmally fail to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

A case in point is the refusal to give permanent postings to 35,216 contract health officers, including 23,077 medical officers, 5,000 dental officers and 7,139 pharmacists.

How can the economy recover if the root cause of COVID-19 is not addressed? For this reason, DAP had proposed that apart from the RM6 billion spent on vaccines, an additional RM 4 billion should be spent to absorb these contract medical officers and beef up the health support system.

Further cash transfer to the poor and needy should move from a one-off cash aid or band-aid to regular monthly welfare payments of RM1,000, including the unemployed. This will cost RM6 billion for the final 6 months until the end of the year.

How Will RM3,000 One-Off To Tourist Agencies Help Tourism?” – Lim Guan Eng

To revive the economy, jobs must not only be saved, but new jobs also created and businesses protected. Monthly hiring incentives of RM 300 must be given to employers to hire Malaysians and wage incentives of RM500 monthly given to employees to boost their incomes. Creating up to 300,000 jobs will cost RM5 billion of the final 6 months of the year.

To protect businesses, RM30 billion in financial grants, rental and utility subsidies must be generously given to businesses, especially SMEs. There is no point offering tax deductions for the tourism industry when there is no income generated or profits earned. What is needed is direct monetary benefits.

For instance, under Pemulih, 5,335 tourism agencies will be given RM3,000 one-off valued at a miserly RM 16 million.

Will this RM 3,000 one-off aid help the tourism industry that lost RM100 billion last year and is facing a similar loss this year? Will the RM 16 million allocation prevent hotels from closing, the most recent one being the 5-star Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur? The time has come for the PN government to wake up and do their job to help economic recovery by first reviving the livelihood of our citizens, protect jobs for our workers and save the businesses for our entrepreneurs.

Lim Guan Eng

DAP Secretary-General

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