KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic had created a difficult time for the people after the government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) since 18 March.
Therefore, the government needs to act fast in handing out aids to the people and business community to ensure livelihood and operations.
“It was a difficult situation for the people and the government had no choice.
“The people are waiting out there. They could not wait for the Parliament session. They needed the help now and it should reach them now.
“I personally think that immediate actions must be taken even before the Parliament convenes,” said Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in reply of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Port Dickson) who demanded Muhyiddin to explain the government’s decision of not debating the economic recovery plan at the Dewan Rakyat.
According to Anwar, the people would be able to understand better about the government’s action if the matter was brought to the Parliament for debate.
“I want the Prime Minister to explain on why the debate was denied to take place,” he questioned.
Muhyiddin who had expected the question said, the government needed to take immediate action than to wait for the Dewan Rakyat sitting to begin.
Last March, Muhyiddin announced the RM250 billion Prihatin Rayat Economic Stimulus Package or PRIHATIN to protect the people, support businesses and strengthen the economy in bracing the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Following that, Muhyiddin announced the Additional PRIHATIN SME Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN SME+) amounting to RM10 billion to ensure that the SMEs can sustain their operations and reduce the risk of mass layoff.
The government also announced the RM35 billion aid under Short-term Economic National Recovery Plan (PENJANA).
He added, although the government had allocated billions of Ringgit under the PRIHATIN and PENJANA packages, the government ensured that the allocations from the internal resources do not reach its ‘ceiling’.
Answering the concerns of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna) about the unemployment rate in Sabah, Muhyiddin said that the aids distributed by the government are aimed at helping the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, the Covid-19 had caused unemployment rate to increase.
According to him, the Statistics Department of Malaysia said that the unemployment rate had rose to 5.5% or 720,000 and the number is expected to increase to 860,000 by the end of the year.
“This is not a good news to the government. The question is, what are we supposed to do?
“Therefore, the government implemented the subsidies for salaries, moratorium and others immediately to ensure that the unemployment rate do not continue to rise,” he said. –MalaysiaGazette