Weekly Highlights

Was there a lack of boldness in the stimulus packages?

13th July 2021

Is The Failure Of The RM530 Billion In Financial Aid Packages Due To Deviations In Implementation, The Failure To Impose An Interest-Free Bank Loan Moratorium Or The Lack Of Boldness In Allocating Direct Fund Injection Of A Mere RM83 Billion?

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s admission that Malaysia will lower its economic growth outlook for this year to around 4% from the 2021 Budget projection of as high as 7.5%, is not surprising. The economy and livelihood of workers and businesses are badly affected by the current total lockdown, imposed following the abject failure of the PN government to contain the surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths, as well as the failure to implement a swift and smooth vaccination rate.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul

Zafrul also mentioned the likelihood that the fiscal deficit will widen from the projection of 5.4% in the 2021 Budget to as much as 7.5% and a revision of the debt ceiling from the current 60% to 65%. With the revision of the growth rate for 2021 to around 4%, compared to last year’s negative growth rate of 5.6%, Malaysia’s economy this year will still be smaller than 2019.

Clearly PN has performed worse during their 18 months in power than any previous government in history.

The real issue that is not explained is the ineffectiveness of the 8 economic stimulus packages amounting to RM530 billion in pulling the economy out of its recession, saving jobs, businesses, and economic livelihood. Is the failure of the RM530 billion in financial aid packages due to deviations in implementation, the failure to impose an interest-free bank loan moratorium or the lack of boldness in allocating direct fund injection of a mere RM83 billion?

Competency is also an issue when we see the Health Minister continues his bumbling performance that has made Malaysia a laughing stock internationally, from suggesting drinking warm water to prevent COVID-19 to now mixing up Spanish flu with the aphrodisiac Spanish fly.

Such antics are not helped by Senior Minister Mohamad Azmin Ali going on vacation in Turkey in such dire times when so many Malaysian lives and livelihoods are lost.

Or Ministers continue to blithely breach Movement Control Order restrictions with Annuar Musa fined again for RM2,000 for breaking his own government”s SOPs, by visiting with his wife the home of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi. At a time when we need all hands on deck with every single Minister working during this crisis to battle COVID-19, we see instead a whole-of-government failure, incompetency, neglect and arrogance in enjoying the perks and privileges of office.

For this reason, the coming Parliamentary meeting on 26 July must see a full debate on the Emergency Ordinances, the National Recovery Plan and the budget expenditures as commanded by the King, to ensure that Parliament launches and mobilises a whole-of-society effort to win the battle against COVID-19.

Lim Guan Eng

DAP Secretary-General

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