Zafrul: Time To Reintroduce MCO1.0 Initiatives And Aids

Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will surely be extending the MCO deadline past 28 June after 4 weeks of full movement control order for the whole nation, this is inline with National Recovery Plan whereby daily cases have not reached the 4000 threshold for the country to enter the next phase of the plan. Only then we can have some restrictions lifted and more sectors opened. The PM also indicated that there will be announcements soon on aid and packages to ease the burden of the community, news that many were anticipating.

Having endures a one month lockdown that could extend into another has been having severe repercussions on the society, wage earners and wage providers, a new report released by the Economic Action Council Secretariat was rather alarming. It noted that during the pandemic more than 600,000 households from the M40 category have slipped into the B40 category, a sign that household income has come down drastically. Noting the situation on the ground, there has been calls from NGOs to think tanks, asking for the government to assist the rakyat throughout MCO3.0 period.

Heeding to this call, Malaysians will soon get to know what’s in install in the next one or two days as mentioned by the PM, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul has also reiterated on the need to revisit on the initiatives. In his personal post, he mentioned that the time is right to bring back some of the aids provided for businesses and society at large. He recalled when the government for the first timein history introduced iLestari, iSinar and the automatic loan moratorium, which received criticism but were later heralded for its effectiveness. With the recovery plan set in place, assistance to boost the economy at each stage with aids and booster packages will definitely further propel the recovery.

The government can look at the earlier success aids and reintroduce for MCO3.0, among them like the blanket loan moratorium, B40 and youth cash aid, and the highly effective Wage Subsidy which helped retain employment for millions of workers.

Ever since the pandemic, the government has allocated RM340 billion for various economic stimulus packages, the latest was RM40 billion Pemerkasa+. It has steadfastly insisted that aids will be continued until Malaysia is well and fully recovered.

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