KUCHING: The measures implemented under the recently announced Pemerkasa Plus stimulus package will help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses to weather the economic storm and provide short-term relief, said Fellow at Academy of Sciences Malaysia Datuk Dr Madeline Berma.
The economic analyst said the measures, such as wage subsidies, loan moratoriums, cash handouts, and financial facilities, would help SMEs and businesses sustain themselves and stay afloat, as well as retain their workers.
“The one-off financial support targeted at tour guides, taxi drivers, school bus drivers, and e-hailing drivers will help those who are affected heavily by the lockdown,” she said.
Nevertheless, she pointed out that these financial supports would only provide temporary relief, not long-term solutions.
At the same time, she said the government should adopt a targeted approach and provide support to those in the M40 category whose businesses had to close down during lockdown, including spa operators, clothing stores, and dine-in restaurants.
“The Malaysian economy is on the road to recovery, but the pace is slow,” said Madeline.
She said the numerous stimulus packages provided since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic had put a heavy strain on the government’s financial situation.
“There is still a relatively high unemployment rate and the tourism sector is still experiencing an acute downturn,” she said.