'We will ensure that all groups, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, will not be left out in receiving the government’s assistance to ease their burden in facing the Covid-19 pandemic.'

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will ensure that no Malaysians are left out, especially the Below 40 (B40) group in the implementation of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said there were more than 53 government agencies under the Economic Stimulus Implementation & Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) to monitor the implementation of Prihatin nationwide.

“We will ensure that all groups, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, will not be left out in receiving the government’s assistance to ease their burden in facing the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said when answering a question from Kota Semarahan MP Rubiah Wang during today’s parliamentary session.

The government has implemented the Prihatin stimulus package worth RM250 billion, Prihatin Supplementary package RM10 billion and the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) worth RM35 billion to reduce the impact of Covid-19.

Muhyiddin also said that due to the global health crisis, the government acknowledged the number of unemployed in the country would increase, but the government would ensure that its impact on the people would be reduced based on the initiatives implemented.

“The country’s economic growth will experience a significant contraction in the second quarter due to the implementation of movement control order, but our economy is expected to rebound in the third and fourth quarters after the reopening of the economy,” he said.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia estimates the country’s unemployment rate will rise to 5.5 per cent due to job losses brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin added that the government is in the midst of formulating various policies and strategies to restructure and strengthen the economy to address socio-economic development imbalances.

“This will be presented under the Twelve Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 in early next year,” he said.

When asked by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Port Dickson) why the economic stimulus plan was not tabled in parliament as it involved large sums of money, Muhyiddin said, it was because the government was in a desperate situation, as faced by governments across the country due to the pandemic.

“At that time, the government only thought of what was best for the people and although it was not tabled, various initiatives had been carried out to ensure the people were protected. The Minister of Finance (Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz) will table the full report in the nearest term,” he said. – Bernama