economic stimulus package Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng at a news conference during the Strategic Collaboration between BSN, SME Bank and MDEC at the Cyberjaya Resort and Spa in Selangor. PIX: SYAFIQ AMBAK / MalaysiaGazette / 17 FEBRUARY 2020. covid-19
Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng at a news conference during the Strategic Collaboration between BSN, SME Bank and MDEC at the Cyberjaya Resort and Spa in Selangor. PIX: SYAFIQ AMBAK / MalaysiaGazette / 17 FEBRUARY 2020.

By Norlaile Abd Rahman

CYBERJAYA – The government cannot afford to compensate the losses suffered by businesses due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Furthermore, it is part of the business risk, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when asked about the complaints received by businesses, that the government did not provide much assistance to the businesses which suffered due to the outbreak.

Some tour operators suggested for the reduction of tourism tax to be inserted as one of the agenda in the economic stimulus package which will be launched on 27 February.

The tourism sector suffered the worst impact from the Covid-19 outbreak, besides the logistics and manufacturing sectors.

Guan Eng said, the government could only help to reduce the losses and ensure that they remain in business through the economic stimulus package.

Besides that, the government is also working hard on curbing the spread of the virus.

“It is unreasonable for the government to compensate the losses as the amount it too huge. We can only help to ensure that the business will continue to survive and when the economy is back on track, they can profit from it.

“There are ups and downs in business. The government will help them when it is down and when the business is good, they will help the government in return,” he said in a news conference after launching the digitalisation grant amounting to RM500 million for the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) today.

According to Guan Eng, some experts suggested that the business operators invest in human capital, organise trainings for their employees when the economy is down.

That may help the businesses to profit once the economy recovers.

“There are suggestions to train the existing employees instead of sacking them.

“Ups and downs in business is common. When the economy recovers, they can benefit from it,” he said.

Guan Eng reemphasized that the economic stimulus package which will be announced by the Prime Minister end of this month is meant to help the sectors affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

When asked if the government would revise the projection for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 2020 following the Covid-19 and the weak national economy last year, which witnessed the lowest growth of the decade, Guan Eng answered, “Perhaps there would be a revision, perhaps, there won’t be a revision.”

“Wait for the launch of the economic stimulus package. If we tell you now, there would be no use for the announcement later.

Today, Singapore announced a -0.5% to 1.5% revision to their national growth due to the weak GDP in 2019 and the Covid-19 epidemic. -MalaysiaGazette

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