Dr M: Expect a change in lifestyle due to lower income amid Covid-19 fallout

  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Apr 2020

Tun Dr Mahathir Mo­­hamad. - filepic

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians should expect a change in lifestyle, as a decrease in monthly income is impending following the Covid-19 fallout, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"One of the things we have to accept is that if the business is not good, you cannot expect to be paid the same way.

"All of us will have lower income, therefore our lifestyle will have to change. We cannot enjoy the same old lifestyle which cost money," said the former prime minister during an interview with MyPerintis on Facebook live on Monday (April 6).

With lower lifestyle spendings, Dr Mahathir said Malaysians will then adapt to live on a lower salary, which will lead to less financial burden on respective employers.

Dr Mahathir, then, gave an analogy of footballers, where their respective employers are struggling to pay them due to unprecedented social distancing measures taken by various countries to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"Footballers want to be paid the same way, but they are not playing football, no one is watching and buying seats, so how can the company pay them the same way?" he questioned.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysians must begin to accept that their lifestyle spending must be reduced in order to cope with a lower income, adding that they should also consider other jobs for side income.

"Basically I will say this, the standard of living that we used to enjoy before, very high standards you know? Wearing nice dresses, and going to parties... we will have to be cut off from that and reduce our expenditure.

"So, we will need less money and our standard of living will be much lower. If you are prepared to do that, I think we can overcome this pandemic much faster," he said.

Pundits have said a global recession is imminent, as many businesses in the world's top performing economies came to a halt due to unprecedented measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19, which have infected more than 1.27 million worldwide.

At the same time, Dr Mahathir advised Malaysians who are unemployed due to the movement control order (MCO) to consider picking up other occupations that became in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as delivery or cooking.

"As I said just now, among the things the industry is going to pick up is transportation - delivery. (If) you have your own car, maybe you can do delivery so you can earn income, not from the old job, but new things.

"If you are not working in a hotel as a cook (due to MCO)... you can also cook at home and deliver...

"So we have to see, due to Covid-19, what new jobs are needed and created, and then we go for that job. We must not say I was a cook before, therefore I must cook the same way. No, we have to change," he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir, in emphasising the importance of adhering to the MCO to stem the outbreak of Covid-19, said the local economy would require some time to recover.

"Even after it (MCO) ends, we cannot go back to the old economy right away. Our economy has changed and we need to maintain what we learned during this outbreak.

"Improve our usual operations by using the experience (we learn from MCO) about digitalisation, good management approach and with that, our economy will return, but not right away," he added.

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