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Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said he would get feedback from the Health Ministry to find out the current situation of the outbreak which originated from Wuhan, China. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

BUTTERWORTH: The Finance Ministry will look at the duration and impact of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Malaysia before deciding on the suitable quantum for the proposed economic stimulus package.

Its Minister Lim Guan Eng said he would get feedback from the Health Ministry to find out the current situation of the outbreak which originated from Wuhan, China.

“Wait for us to come out with the framework first because this is not something we can rush into. There is analysis which says the outbreak will not prolong.

“That is why we want to ensure that the economic stimulus package can help those affected by the outbreak.

"When we begin the economic stimulus package, then we can ensure a sustainable economic growth,” he said after attending the Chinese New Year open house organised by the state Customs Department here today.

He said this when commenting on the report by an economist who said that an allocation of between RM10 billion and RM15 billion was needed to manage the impact of the outbreak to the country’s economy.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Head of Economics Risk Research and Politics Associate Professor

Dr Irwan Shah Zainal Abidin was reported as saying that among the industries which needed focus were tourism, manufacturing, heath and education.

Meanwhile, asked about the timeline for the economic stimulus package announcement, Lim said that it would be presented to the cabinet first.

“Also, we need to get feedback from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“It is still too early. We need to get feedback from all quarters, beginning with the tourism sector tomorrow,” he added.

On Saturday, Lim had said that he would meet with everyone involved in the tourism sector tomorrow to discuss on the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the industry.

On Friday, he had downplayed claims that Malaysia could face an economic downturn, saying the government would initiate an economic stimulus package to boost the economic growth.

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