KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will announce an economic stimulus package on Feb 27 to mitigate the adverse external economic impacts brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the economic stimulus package, aimed at preserving the welfare of the people, was neither a new budget nor part of 2020 Budget.
Lim said assistance would be given to the affected sectors to allow the economy to emerge as whole as possible and benefit from the expected economic rebound post Covid-19.
“While the market is facing serious challenges, we should not despair but instead persevere to allow our industry to survive so that the country is ready to benefit from the economic rebound once the Covid-19 threat is over.
“Cashflow is the principal concern and the affected companies must ensure that they remain viable, operational and capable of reaping the benefits when the economic rebound takes place.
“The government will adopt measures to assist these companies, but emphasis should also be placed on exploring alternative revenues such as shifting towards encouraging domestic tourism, and sourcing from other markets,” said Lim in a statement on Friday.
He added that the measures involved included keeping the domestic labour market resilient while ensuring our soft and physical infrastructure remain in place amid the short-term weakened demand.
Lim said his ministry ialso worked with other ministers including Economic Affairs, Transport, Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as various government agencies to formulate the economic stimulus programme.
“The government has engaged in consultations with principal players in the tourism, logistics and finance sectors.
“The ministries have also held meetings with small and medium enterprises, as well as government-linked funds and companies,” he said.
Apart from praising the Health Ministry for its effort in containing outbreak in Malaysia without engendering public panic despite frequent episodes of fake news, Lim also called on Malaysians to unite amid growing concern among the global community over the virus.
“This is the time for every Malaysian to put our differences aside and come together as one nation and one people.
“While the government is helping the affected industries, we hope the industry players will play their part in assisting their clients and suppliers.
“(This is to ensure that) all can survive this challenge and benefit from the post Covid-19 rebound.” he said.