Govt, Opposition MPs Support Covid-19 Financing Bill

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Members of the parliament from the government and opposition bloc today expressed their support towards the Temporary Measures for Government Financing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020.

Among the government MPs who took part in the debate on the bill were Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) and Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort).

Tajuddin lauded the Finance Ministry’s effort in drawing up measures to deal with the impact of the pandemic and at the same time ensuring the welfare of the people is protected.

“By creating a situation where the people feel that their welfare is protected as well as providing assistance to small and medium-sized traders, Insha Allah our economy will bounce back,” he said.

Azizah raised the question of whether the RM45 billion allocation is sufficient taking into account when the Covid-19 pandemic would be over is still unclear.

Meanwhile, apart from lending their conditional support to the bill, several opposition MPs also opined that the allocation should be increased.

Former Finance minister Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) proposed that the injection of funds be doubled as the RM45 billion allocation was insufficient, although it would increase the country’s debt.

“In view of the current alarming situation, I think it is more important for us to save jobs and businesses rather than worry about the debt…we can accept it if it is channelled to the people,” he said.

Lim said the open tender should also be adopted to avoid leakages and ensure that the funds are enjoyed by all and not just the cronies and corporate giants.

The matter was agreed by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) who intercepted the debate saying that the allocation should be increased as an injection to regenerate the country’s economy.

Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja) hoped that all MPs would give their support to the bill and called for the government to reduce the waste of money and only spend the allocation for those in need.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow.