Govt must be transparent on distribution of stimulus benefits, says NGO

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The government must be transparent and explain how it plans to distribute funds announced in the economic stimulus package, says Transparency International Malaysia.

Its president Muhammad Mohan said the government must also explain the mechanisim to be applied to ensure transparency in the distribution of funds to businesses and employers, adding that so far, this had not been made clear.

“Let us not forget that in the past, funds meant for the public were channeled through some middlemen with markups, and at the end of the gravy train, the public did not get the full benefit of the fund, ” he said in a statement Tuesday (March 31).

Muhammad said TI-M welcomed the government’s intentions to help ease the people’s burden during the Covid-19 pandemic but pointed out that “trust is not won over by luxurious and glittering handouts but by honesty and transparency.”

He said while the RM250bil economic stimulus package sounded hopeful, there were still questions which the government needed to answer, including how the package was going to be funded.

“Some have suggested the need for a special Parliamentary sitting to debate the stimulus package and get the Dewan Rakyat’s endorsement. The government should give some serious thought to this suggestion while continuing to give urgent aid to the people, ” he said.

He said getting Parliament to endorse it would not only demonstrate transparency on the part of the government but also credibility.

“What the people need in these unprecedented times is for the government to show that it has changed, and demonstrates honesty and transparency.

“In this time of need for economic survival as well as the health and safety of the nation, we will not condone any politically-flavoured business bailouts and election-type treats solely to benefit those in power, ” he said.

On March 27, the government unveiled a RM250bil “rakyat-caring” stimulus package that aims to see no one is left behind.

It is put in place to protect the people, support businesses and strengthen the economy.

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