SEREMBAN: The government should consider additional financial assistance to the B40 and M40 groups, especially those living in conditional and enhanced movement control areas, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (pic).
The Umno deputy president said initiatives under the National Economic Revival Plan (Penjana) should also be extended, particularly to small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable them to retain their employees and avoid increasing unemployment.
"The country's previous economic stimulus package has proven to be successful in easing the burden of the people and ensuring business cash flow, but has ended at this critical time.
"This is necessary because the third wave of Covid-19 is now expected to slow the country's economic recovery until the first quarter of 2021," he said, expressing hope that the government will also step up efforts to revive the economy with a clear and dynamic direction.
Mohamad said this was necessary, following Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) lowering its projection of the gross domestic product for 2020 to -5.5%.
This projection was based on the significant decline in the economic growth rate in the second quarter of -17.1%, a resurgence of Covid-19 cases as well as the absence of additional government mitigation measures in the previous quarter, especially for SMEs.
Mohamad said more efforts should be made to accelerate economic recovery by allowing democracy to function, giving special incentives to selected investments, re-opening borders with strict health protocols and further simplifying business conditions.
"We must not procrastinate with economic growth.
"Vietnam is also expected to overtake Malaysia by 2020 to become the fourth largest economy in South-East Asia, and be one of the most attractive investment destinations in the region," he said.
Mohamad said Malaysia's business confidence and attractiveness as an investment destination depends largely on the consistency and clarity of existing policies.
"Every government policy as well as measures taken to fight this pandemic should be reasonable, based on scientific evidence, takes into account the public interest and not misleading.
"Therefore, I hope the government would also consider the establishment of a warning system which can consistently provide us with updates on Covid-19 to replace the current system where standard operating procedures are only provided at the last minute," he said.
The system, which is already available in other countries, will provide the people with information in stages on the virus’ rate of infectivity and number of confirmed cases.
"This pandemic can only be overcome through scientific approach, economic recovery and adherence to the Federal Constitution," he added.
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