LETTERS: COVID-19 pandemic had greatly impacted China, US and Europe especially trade and tourism industry.
Containment measures are expected to drive the global economy into unprecedented contraction at this first half of year resulting in a global recession, said a JP Morgan economist.
China has only recently began to show positive signs of overcoming Covid-19 after taking extreme measures but at a significant cost, World Economic Forum stated. The key is to implement the right policies, quick enforcement and efficient government-to-people communication.
According to The Diplomat, the rising impact of coronavirus cases might be worst in Southeast Asia, economically, including Malaysia if global recession hits.
Malaysia’s economy is expected to grow about 2 percent this year as Malaysia has to encounter many challenges from the political issues, Covid-19 to the fall of oil-price.
As people’s lives are at stake due to the pandemic with 17 deaths reported, Malaysian government is urged to invest more on the public healthcare services and to help the less privilege group of people (B40) to survive.
Now is the time for the government and ministries to come out with future plans to assist the people and to revive the economy.
Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich tweeted in his official twitter account: "I can tell you that we shouldn't be talking about stimulating the economy or going back to work. We should be talking about shutting down the economy and keeping people home, with enough money so they can pay their bills."
Reich who had served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, even emphasised that economy is irrelevant in this time of pandemic crisis.
He also reminded that every bit of taxpayer money should be spent helping the workers who need income, people who need help paying medical bills, and hospital workers who need protective gear.
If the only way to contain the pandemic is by extending the Movement Control Order (MCO), then the government should introduced more comprehensive economic stimulus package and people’s aid that will be able to help assist, support and protect many vulnerable households, especially the B40 from the impact of this pandemic shock.
Extending the MCO may be bad for the economy, but will save more lives. It may be hard, but we can survive through this economic breakdown.
To win this war, all we need is strong teamwork between the people and the government, the GLCs and the NGOs, and the corporations and the consumers.
The government needs to continue to
do what it takes to overome the coronavirus.
AISYAH ABDUL HADI
Bachelor of Political Science, IIUM
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times