Guan Eng wants RM45 bil stimulus package, as long as not paid by RM45 bil GST

(FMT) – The implementation of the movement control order (MCO) 3.0 has triggered an urgent need for a RM45 billion economic stimulus package to save jobs and businesses, says DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

He said such an all-encompassing package will go a long way in reducing public anger, which is manifesting in various forms, including the open show of defiance among youths recently.

In a statement, the former finance minister said without the stimulus package, the government’s projected economic growth of 7.5% this year would also be difficult to achieve.

He said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must realise that the implementation of the MCO was not the reason why Malaysians were angry but rather it was Perikatan Nasional’s failure to contain the escalating number of Covid-19 infections.

Lim said in order to reduce public anger, this new stimulus package must directly benefit workers and businesses, encompassing an increase in monthly welfare payments to RM1,000, including the unemployed, costing the government RM12 billion.

“An automatic extension of the moratorium on bank loan repayments, excluding the top 20%, until the end of the national vaccination programme must also be implemented. This will help eight million Malaysians and companies.”

He said banks should be supportive of this effort.

Lim said hiring incentives should be spread over a two-year period under the Malaysia@Work programme.

This includes paying RM500 a month to employees and RM300 per month to employers to encourage them to hire local workers.

“This will create employment for 300,000 Malaysian workers for one year at a cost of RM6.5 billion,” he said.

Lim added education must be digitalised by purchasing laptops worth a total of RM3.5 billion to provide online learning for all students as schools were only open for four months last year, with much uncertainty on how it will pan out this year.

He also said RM23 billion should be given to all businesses affected by the economic recession and MCO in the form of financial grants, rental and utility subsidies, loan guarantees and credit extensions for small- and medium-sized enterprises, the retail sector and the crippled tourism industry.

“The tourism industry lost RM100 billion in revenue last year and without ‘life support’ from the government, it faces a bleak future,” Lim said.