KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has called upon Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to stop delaying the announcement of the economic rescue package focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He added that Muhyiddin should use the opportunity to be more sensitive to the crisis the movement control order (MCO) has created for vulnerable groups, especially those who have become unemployed.
“Why is the government so slow and tardy in presenting a comprehensive package to rescue SMEs when compared to other countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Australia, and Singapore?” Lim asked in a statement.
Although he noted that Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said on Saturday that help for SMEs is on the way, the Iskandar Puteri MP added the minister and other government policy-makers must act fast and do whatever it takes in the battle against Covid-19.
“Former International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Meng has listed ten examples of Malaysian SMEs crying for help.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis as it is an existential economic crisis where policymakers must adjust their approach on a daily basis, as the increasing severity of the health pandemic and damage to the economy unfolds,” he said.
Lim said that Malaysia must learn from the best public health and economic practices of other countries in combating the invisible global war of the Covid-19 pandemic, so that it can avoid the nightmare of countries like Spain and Italy.
“In Spain, there is relief in the country that its death toll in the past 24 hours had only risen by 674 to 12,418 because it recorded the lowest number of fatalities in nine days.
“In Italy the lowest daily death toll of 525 deaths for more than two weeks was registered on Sunday, allowing authorities to start looking ahead to a second phase of the battle against the new coronavirus once the lockdown imposed almost a month ago is eventually eased,” he said.
Lim argued that only by acting swiftly can Malaysia win the race to restore its devastated economy.