Anwar calls out Perikatan govt for confusing policies as Malaysia struggles to stay afloat in Covid-19 economic ‘crisis’

R. Loheswar
·2-min read
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters in Kuala Lumpur October 16, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters in Kuala Lumpur October 16, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hit out at Putrajaya today, saying its policies and strategies in steering Malaysia through the Covid-19 pandemic remains ambiguous even after eight months.

The PKR president said the Perikatan Nasional government’s implementation of its crisis management strategies have vexed the public, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety during a difficult time.

He also claimed that the lack of detailed explanations about its economic policies will cause investors to lose trust in the government’s ability and leadership.

“We need a government that is transparent and forthcoming with information and policies that are well-thought through during this crisis.

“It does not instil confidence both domestically and amongst foreign investors when important statements are made without proper follow-through and clarification,” he said in a statement.

He pointed out the widespread confusion caused by the recent WFH directive, noting that many thought all sectors of the economy were forced to work from home, adding that its clarification the next day that the new rules apply only to those in management positions in public sector services as well as industries highlighted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) did not make things clearer.

He said this showed the government is making statements and policies without thinking things through.

He accused the government of protecting large corporations instead of the small businessman and lower-income groups.

“It is also worth noting that although the government has said that economic activities will be allowed to be carried out, the latest guidelines will definitely impact on businesses, especially those already struggling in the retail sector,” he said.

Anwar cited data from the Retail Group Malaysia, which estimated 51,000 retail stores in the country — representing 15 per cent of the total industry supply — will not be able to stay afloat beyond the next five months.

Once again, he urged the government to extend the loan moratorium for the next three months saying doing so can help cushion the economic woes faced by small businesses during this Covid-19 economy so they do not go bust.

“The government must show firm leadership by extending the moratorium for another three months, as the economy has yet to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic amid the spike in new cases.

“Additional measures are required to keep small businesses afloat and wages flowing to workers until MCO ends,” said the MP for Port Dickson.

“It is indeed telling that the government has been silent on protecting the lower income groups and instead focus on protecting large corporations.”

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