KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urged the government to prepare an additional RM45 billion stimulus package if it plans to implement targeted movement control orders (MCO) in the country.
In a statement today, the Bagan MP said this would be needed in the wake of falling foreign investor confidence after the Pakatan Nasional (PN) government’s “failure” to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Any new targeted lockdown measures must be accompanied by an additional RM45 billion economic stimulus package to compensate the people for PN’s abysmal failure in handling the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.
Last month, international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings from A- to BBB+, the same level as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz was criticised by the chief executive officer of the European Chamber of Commerce, Christian Angell, for not meeting with and listening to the concerns of foreign investors.
“The economic situation must be pretty dire for foreign investors to make public criticism openly,” said Lim.
Lim added that the government’s reason for causing a two-month delay in procuring vaccines, which was that it did not have on hand the RM2.1 billion required, was unforgivable.
“How many more lives will be unnecessarily lost due to this two-month delay? Will Muhyiddin and his Cabinet come clean and bear full responsibility for all the unnecessary lives lost?” he asked.
Yesterday, Malaysia reached 26,185 active cases of Covid-19. On December 9, just one month ago, active cases had been just 10,748.
This spike in infections has caused concern among healthcare professionals, with Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announcing last week that the healthcare system is at a breaking point.
Speculation is now rife that the government could announce targeted MCOs in several areas to curb the rise in infections.