How effective is the PEMERKASA + package in addressing the current concerns of Malaysians?
Iskandar Fareez, Communications Director at REFSA shares his view with BFM-Inside Story (Listen from 33 min onwards into the podcast) on why more spending is needed than the RM5 bil direct fiscal injection allocated under PEMERKASA+ aid.
While certain groups have called attention to the move by Ministers to cut their salaries, he highlighted why these discussions are counterproductive. The focus should actually currently be to urge the government to spend more funds in the right places.
Here are the key points suggested from Iskandar Fareez that should be prioritised by the government:
(i) Reconvene parliament to address and manage the concurrent health and economic crises in a bipartisan manner. Various bipartisan Parliamentary Special Select Committees should be utilised and they should be equipped with the necessary resources and manpower to function effectively;
(ii) The government must show and communicate clear exit strategy for the lockdown. This includes the numbers of tests for current workplace guidelines that is enough to contain any outbreak at work premises, SOPs based on data and science that is up-to-date and approaches for the government to move forward beyond a strict lockdown to increase public confidence;
(iii) Malaysia should embark on a genuine “whole-society-approach” in tackling the pandemic, with roping different stakeholders into the decision-making process on setting a clear strategic direction in both short and long-run.
The PEMERKASA+ aid package was announced by the Prime Minister last night, ahead of the two-week lockdown. We take a look at the key aspects of the RM40 billion-worth package, and how effective it is in addressing the current concerns of the people. Next, we discuss how businesses will fare with the additional aid. Finally, we examine the three-month pay cut for ministers and their deputies.
Produced by: Loo Juosie, Tasha Fusil, Kelvin Yee, Azlyna Mohd Noor
Presented by: Sharmilla Ganesan, Lee Chwi Lynn