Who’s tracking the stimulus billions? asks MP

The government has announced a new economic stimulus package amounting to RM35 billion in allocations.

PETALING JAYA: An MP has called for increased oversight on government spending in view of the various economic stimulus packages created to help the country recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

R Sivarasa , MP for Sungai Buloh, said that there was no dispute that the spending is necessary to get the economy back on track, “(but) we need to make sure the money is being spent properly”.

“This is not happening,” he said. “Parliament is a critical part of that oversight, and Parliament is not allowed to function”, he said, in reference to parliamentary meetings being postponed to July.

Speaking at an online forum by the Universiti Malaya Law Society today, Sivarasa said: “What is missing (in the plans announced by the government), is a very serious omission now, is oversight about how the money is being spent and whether it is being spent for the programmes and proposals that were told to the public.

R Sivarasa

Sivarasa said the money being spent would be a burden that would ultimately have to be repaid by future generations of Malaysians.

A RM35 billion economic stimulus package called Penjana was announced by the government yesterday to help revive the economy after three months of restrictions on public activities.

It is the third stimulus package since the pandemic began. In February, a RM20 billion package was announced by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then the prime minister, followed by the RM250 billion Prihatin Rakyat package announced by his successor, Muhyiddin Yassin, in March.

Sivarasa’s comments come in the wake of a statement from Istana Negara where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, had urged that the stimulus programme be monitored closely to ensure that the benefits reached the targeted groups and met the objectives of helping the people and rejuvenating the economy.

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