KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Despite announcing and dispersing various economic stimulus packages in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, issues such as incomplete databases, coordination and challenges in making sure the aid actually reaches those in need are still plaguing the government, said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Economic Affairs said that even though many in need have already received aid from these programmes, there remains much to be desired in terms of the overall management and disbursement of government packages.
“The challenge is to make sure that the help reaches the ground; that is a big challenge.
“And the other challenge that we have, is, of course, data that is not complete,” he said.
He provided an example of how incomplete databases led to those running businesses within the informal sector unable to receive aid because they are not registered formally with the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
Similarly, he said those within the poverty bracket who have yet to register with the government’s database are also missing out on these benefits.
“It’s important to have a robust database. The database that we have presently on poverty and absolute poverty will be revised in the next few months hopefully,” he said.
Another area Mustapa said that could do with some improvement is the coordination between government agencies when implementing these benefits, and suggested better consolidation should be done to avoid agencies and ministries from overlapping each others’ roles.
“Coordination is a big issue in this country. We have firstly a number of agencies dealing with almost similar programmes, and there is this issue of the tendency to work in silos, so we need to enhance coordination, we need to be more efficient.
“There has been in the past, probably now it’s happening, where we know for a fact that some families have been getting help from one or two agencies; not one but probably two or three agencies, it’s not happening now hopefully, but these are the kind of challenges we have been facing,” he added.
He made these comments at the launch of the Malaysian Economic Monitor report, during the interview with World Bank Malaysia’s country manager, Firas Raad, that was streamed ‘live’ online.
“So, indeed, coordination is very important, and I am sure when the policy is considered by the government, this will be a very important aspect, the need to be effective. To be efficient, the delivery mechanism must be very efficient,” he added.