KUCHING: The wage subsidy programme under the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai) which is only applicable to movement control order (MCO) states should be extended to all other affected areas, said Datuk Richard Wee.
The Federation of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese Associations president said this should be done as the current economic downturn was affecting the whole nation.
“This is the feedback from both the business community and the people as a whole. Hence, we hope that the government will listen to the voices and views of the industry players and the people,” he said when commenting on the Permai package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.
He said that as no one stimulus package was perfect, the government needed to continue to seek feedback from the public, industry players, and non-governmental organisations to finetune the packages to provide assistance to those who had fallen in between the cracks.
“We sincerely hope that the stimulus packages are all efficiently rolled out to all the sectors that are in need of aid.
“I would like to emphasise that the aid packages are only as good as their delivery and implementation,” he said.He said all these stimulus packages provided by the government, like in other countries, were meant to strike a delicate balance between health and economy, which was a challenging feat.
He pointed out that these stimulus packages, be they relating to economic, health, or welfare aspects, would be major financial burdens to the nation, adding that this was the same for all other countries.
“Therefore, we ought to be mindful that such measures are necessary and we shall all be prepared to face the consequence,” he said.
At the same time, Wee said the people should welcome and appreciate the Permai package.
“We all know that we are at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia which is affecting the entire health and economy of our country, if not the world.
“It is an unprecedented health crisis which has a major and serious impact on the economy. It is in times like these that extraordinary measures are required,” he said.
He said it was only when the pandemic was under control that the nation’s economy would rebound.