PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will proceed with its economic stimulus package as planned to address concerns over the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is scheduled to announce the economic stimulus package at 4pm on Thursday (Feb 27).
Dr Mahathir today posted a tweet on his account @chedetofficial at 12.37pm, saying that he had just finished meeting the Finance Ministry’s top officials to discuss on the stimulus package.
“This initiative is expected to be announced soon,” he added.
It was reported that Malaysia was not the only Asean nation planning a stimulus package as Thailand’s Finance Ministry would also be proposing a new economic stimulus package to the cabinet in mid-March.
Malaysia’s economic stimulus package, focusing on tourism, consumption and investment, is aimed at stimulating domestic travel, which has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Former Finance Minister Lim Guan said on Monday that the ministry had finalised the economic stimulus package on Sunday (Feb 23) to be presented to Dr Mahathir for his approval.
With the ongoing political situation, businesses were said to be concerned if the stimulus package which is originally scheduled to be announced tomorrow (Feb 27) would be affected.
Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid had said the economic stimulus package must happen due to heightened economic uncertainties, which had seen expenditure from businesses and consumers decline.
This, he warned, would have an impact on the aggregate demand which if left unattended would perpetuate the economic slowdown.
Since Covid-19 hit the country’s shores in mid-January, the Bursa Malaysia key index the FBM KLCI saw a decline of 57 points to 1,531.20, with sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, and logistics expected to experience losses.