KUALA LUMPUR: The benefits of the government’s new stimulus package will continue to flow beyond the next three months, senior minister Mohd Azmin Ali said today.
In an RTM interview today, Azmin, who is minister for international trade, said: “I am confident that this package is not just about three months but will bring about manifold benefits for the future in economic activities and growth.”
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced RM250 billion in measures to be taken under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package yesterday to cushion the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Azmin said the economic situation would simply deteriorate without any form of assistance. “Companies won’t be able to operate and will have no choice but to retrench their workers. We have to resort to this (stimulus) to save these workers and help employers not to dismiss them.”
He said Malaysia was affected by the global economic slowdown and as an oil-producing country was also affected by falling oil prices.
“Our hope is that when the movement control order (MCO) period is over, we can see a situation that is more reassuring,” he said.
Azmin revealed that the finance ministry had prepared a programme for the disbursement of assistance to target groups of the stimulus package.
“We have complete data on the recipients from the B40 and small and medium enterprises (SME),” he said.
“As for the M40, we have some setbacks: the government had given less priority to that category. That’s probably the reason why we do not have the complete data but this will be seen to, so that they, too, can benefit,” he added.
Last night, leaders of Pakatan Harapan had described the RM250 billion package as “decent” but had doubts about its impact on ordinary Malaysians beyond a two-month period.
In a statement signed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, the opposition coalition said more needed to be done to assist SMEs, which are bearing the economic brunt of the national shutdown.