Anwar: Stimulus packages should be monitored by Parliament

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya March 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya March 13, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the stimulus packages announced by the government, designed to bolster the economy against the Covid-19 outbreak, to be debated in Parliament when it resumes in May.

He said it is the practice of democratic countries to debate such government initiatives to ensure proper implementation and minimise the risk of embezzlement.

“Who will be able to monitor these stimulus packages? In democratic countries like Australia, Japan and South Korea, they allow such things to be debated in Parliament so they can be monitored,” said Anwar during a Facebook Live session today.

“When you add RM250 billion to a stimulus package, questions like ‘Where does the money come from, how are we going to repay these loans and how can we monitor the implementation of these packages?’ will arise.

“I urge the prime minister to give this serious consideration so we can debate or support this initiative in Parliament. This to ensure that everyone gets the allocation that they deserve and stimulate the economy again.”

The MP for Port Dickson also insisted that those who are responsible for handling the huge amounts from the government be scrutinised.

He said he is concerned that history will repeat itself and the government allocation will give birth to complacency and leakages.

“If history is anything to go by, the devil is in the details,” said Anwar.

“Will the money go straight to the recipient or will there be cuts, leakages and mini thefts along the way? These are matters that we must look into closely.

“This is so that politicians or government officials with poor records and history of stealing are not in charge.”

Anwar said banking institutions that are offering a six-month moratorium on loan repayments, which prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said amounted to RM100 billion, was a welcome one.

He, however, pointed out that interest rates will still be charged.

He said if interest is still charged, once the six-month period is up, borrowers would still have to repay the amount which will be a burden to them.

He urged the government to look into this matter and re-evaluate its benefits.


 

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