By Howard Lee, DAPSY National Chief & Former Perak Exco
Setting aside political games to focus on saving lives, property, jobs and the future of Malaysians, especially the citizens of Perak , I propose three key points to help the government address this very important issue.
1. Analysis & statement of state economic impact
An in-depth study and analysis of the economic impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent movement control order (MCO) on our state economy needs to be made. This study must provide an overview and figures of the impact if the MCO will end as announced, at 28 days, and also for the 36-day or 56-day scenario, according to our state’s largest economic sector.
The State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) and the Darul Ridzuan Institute (IDR) need to work together to lead this task with top experts in formulating the economic model. The study is intended to focus on the 15 major sectors that contribute most to our state’s economy.
We need to know how many people in Perak are going to lose their jobs and how many businesses will declare bankruptcy. We need a sincere and honest projection so we can come up with a plan and a solution.
2. COVID-19 Rehabilitation Plan
As a former Perak Exco, I am experienced in administrative matters. Here I recommend holding an immediate and informal meeting with stakeholders at the state level which is under the portfolio of each Exco. This is important to discuss the needs, types, and methods of stimulus assistance delivery for their respective sectors of the economy.
For example, for my first portfolio, Youth and Sports Development, it would include participation from MBN, MPMP, sports associations, sports industry players, suppliers and manufacturers of sports equipment, health food, organizers of sports activities and more. As for the entrepreneurial and investment portfolios, it will involve entrepreneurship bodies; business council of Malay, Chinese, Indian, FMM, and MEF;
We can keep in touch even with the latest technology through cyberspace. These sessions should be held immediately.
3.Additional COVID-19 budget for state government and proper planning for the federal government stimulus aid
We have all been informed of the Federal Government’s allocation of RM 130 million. What we are not told is how the allocation will be distributed. Therefore, discussions with state government agencies should be carried out as best as possible so that those in need will benefit the most.
I call for an additional stimulus package presented by the state government, based on the results of discussions with all stakeholders on the portfolio. The extent to which additional budgets for stimulus at the state level can be prepared, according to the sowing and distribution, should also be debated in the State Assembly.
On our part, I think we are ready to help the government overcome these post-disaster challenges. It’s all on the basis of humanity, not political passion. To us, power means nothing if the people are not protected, cared for and respected.
In this regard, I hope that the State Government is prepared as soon as possible to set up a bipartisan committee to implement the recommendations as detailed above.