Guan Eng: Saving lives and economy the reasons for working with PM

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has proposed two plans to win the war against Covid-19 and to help Malaysians weather the economic recession.

He proposed a “Covid-19 Reset Plan” to combat the rising numbers of infections and deaths, and a bipartisan national economic turnaround plan to help Malaysians who had lost their jobs and incomes from the recession brought about by the pandemic.

“Saving lives and livelihoods by winning the war against Covid-19 and helping Malaysians survive the economic recession, as well as concrete institutional reforms, are key to any genuine collaboration with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“This was communicated to Ismail during the nearly one and a half-hour meeting with him yesterday together with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu,” he said in a statement today.

Lim said accelerated vaccination and mass testing were also needed to stop the surge of Covid-19 cases.

“Pakatan Harapan (PH) has proposed the adoption of the World Health Organization’s large-scale implementation of the Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support plus vaccination (FTTIS+V) method by testing 1% of the population daily or conducting 320,000 tests.”

He noted that RM4 billion must be allocated for this purpose and to enhance the health support system, particularly ICU beds as well as vaccine delivery.

For the economic turnaround plan, he noted that since the first movement control order in March 2020, the recession had resulted in losses of more than RM500 billion and urged the government to provide more financial support to those affected by the pandemic.

He outlined several means of financial support.

“A RM45 billion direct fund injection must be accompanied by a waiver of interest on the bank loan moratorium for the remaining three months of the year, with the exception of the T20 group.

“Welfare assistance must be increased to RM1,000 monthly, including for the unemployed, which will cost more than RM1 billion per month. RM6 billion must be allocated to offer wage and hiring incentives to create 300,000 new jobs to reduce the unemployment rate.

“Businesses must be given RM30 billion in grants, monetary incentives, wage, rent and utility subsidies instead of loans and guarantees, to save jobs and slow business closures.”

Yesterday, Ismail and the top three PH leaders met at Perdana Putra and reached a consensus to strengthen the function of Parliament as a check and balance on the executive.

Anwar revealed that the meeting was purely about the economy and people, adding that the issue of appointing opposition members to the Cabinet did not arise. – FMT