Let Parliament approve stimulus package, says group of academics, activists

The group of concerned citizens says Parliament should review the economic stimulus package to allay concerns over transparency of funds and public delivery methods.

PETALING JAYA: A group of concerned citizens, including academics and activists, has called for an emergency sitting of Parliament to review the RM250 billion stimulus package to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

In a joint statement, signed by the likes of G25’s Johan Arriffin Samad and Dr Sharifah Munirah Alatas as well as former ambassador Dennis Ignatius, the group of 48 said the details of the stimulus package must be fully discussed and amended for the benefit of all Malaysians.

“We are especially concerned about the transparency of sources of funds and public delivery methods, as well as its eventual accessibility to the most needy citizens,” the statement said.

On Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the stimulus package which comprises RM128 billion for the people’s welfare, RM100 billion for businesses and SMEs, and RM2 billion to strengthen the economy. This is in addition to the RM20 billion announced in the previous package.

The group said the government must obtain “a proper mandate” from all MPs in a non-partisan manner for such a stimulus package to be approved.

This was after Muhyiddin had admitted that his administration was not elected by the people, it said, adding that “such a procedure has been followed by legitimately elected governments across the globe”.

When he unveiled the package, Muhyiddin had said that while “this government may not be the government that you voted for”, it still cared for the people.

Yesterday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang called for a two-day emergency meeting of Parliament to approve the package.

Lim said there should be no other business during the emergency meeting except for a debate to approve the stimulus package.

“The debate will also allow Members of Parliament to convey the views of the people with regard to the invisible war against the Covid-19 virus and the triple whammy of public health, economic and information crisis in Malaysia as a result of the outbreak,” he said.