Mahathir also denounced Malaysia's Budget 2021 for being populist.
'There have not been many ideas to address this problem... the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.'
He noted how residents in Lahad Datu, Sabah were suffering from hunger, following a lockdown extension, as most of them relied on daily wages.He also cited the recent case of a 52-year-old manager who was fired and then crashed his car into his former workplace in Ipoh before his death.
Hence, efforts must be made to mitigate the impact of this economic downturn, especially for those who were suffering from depression after losing their jobs, said Mahathir in an interview with The Malaysian Insight."I look forward to specific actions to address the Covid-19 problem and also the economic downturn, but there have not been many ideas to address this problem, especially the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
"There is no plan or advice from the government. How can people cope with the pressure caused by Covid-19? There are people who are currently starving because their income has been completely lost," he said.The country's unemployment rate improved 0.1 percent to 4.6 percent with 737,500 unemployed in September as compared with the previous month. headtopics.com
However, Mahathir claimed that many who needed assistance have not benefited from the government's economic stimulus package Prihatin.He added that the government should look into venturing into an online platform to spur business and employment to help the people.
Meanwhile, Mahathir denounced Budget 2021 for being populist and that the government should consider the opposition's suggestions to make sure the budget can be supported by all MPs in Parliament."This budget is not entirely acceptable. We need amendments and the government should accept proposals from the opposition. Don’t think about (proposals from) government parties only," he said.
"This budget is not flawless at all. There are many defects. There are also provisions for entities that do not need assistance," he said.The national budget which was tabled by the PN government in the Dewan Rakyat last Friday was not well received by all quarters. Critics said it failed to effectively address the economic crisis.
Some criticised PN over the RM85.5 million fund that will be channelled to the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) and RM8.6 million allocated for Penggerak Komuniti Tempatan (PeKT), a civil society group linked to Bersatu leader Zuraida Kamaruddin.Both BN backbencher chairperson Najib Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have threatened to withdraw support for the budget unless amendments were made. Najib counts 43 lawmakers under his BN banner and Anwar is backed by 91 under the Pakatan Harapan banner. headtopics.com
Mahathir urged the government to make the amendments quickly as even after the budget is passed in Parliament, it would take some time for the money to be distributed to the people.Story continues“Planning and making allocations is easy, but executing it is not. It usually takes a long time before an allocation can be approved. Sometimes getting permission will take months.
“People will suffer while waiting for goodies that were promised. In times like this, we need to make it easier to channel funds.”Meanwhile, Mahathir called for the government to cut the salaries of high-income earners, including ministers and top civil servants, and to channel the funds to combat the pandemic.
He said he was willing to take a 10 percent cut in his pension. Read more: Yahoo Singapore »
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