Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly said the federal government’s coffers have been significantly thinned out to prop up the economy and help Malaysians in the Covid era.
News portal Malaysiakini reported the prime minister making the disclosure even as he announced a RM4 million allocation for the Sikh community in Petaling Jaya, Selangor this afternoon.
“So much money has been spent last year and this year. Why? For Covid-19. This included various stimulus packages totalling RM340 billion and RM322 billion allocation for the national budget. I went to school, but I am not good at calculation…how much it adds up…it’s more than RM600 billion — that’s a big sum of money.
“What I am trying to say here is, we don’t have much money left. We don’t have as much [money] as before, because the most important thing for us is to ensure our livelihood; we should be able to manage ourselves better,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying during the pre-Vaisakhi celebration.
Vaisakhi marks the birth of Sikhism and also their new year. This year, it falls on April 14.
Despite the country’s financial situation, Muhyiddin said the government was allocating RM3 million for all 120 gurdwaras in the country, a slight increase from RM2.18 million in 2020.
The prime minister also announced another RM1 million allocation for the Malaysian Gurdwara Council to build its proposed Sikh centre.
Muhyiddin said he hoped Malaysians can learn about all the different multiracial and multi-religious festivals celebrated in the country.
“I want to stress that the Perikatan Nasional policy is strongly founded on the principle of respect, inclusivity and justice,” he said.
“Thus, it is important for us to get to know one another and understand one another’s cultural and historical uniqueness,” he said.
The prime minister added that any attitude and behaviour that could cause discomfort and suspicion among the people should be set aside.
On March 22, Muhyiddin announced a new economic stimulus package dubbed the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (Pemerkasa) worth RM20 billion.
It is understood that the RM20 billion Pemerkasa assistance package includes an additional RM11 billion fiscal injection from the government with five main thrusts and 20 strategic initiatives, including Prihatin worth RM250 billion, Prihatin SMEs (RM10 billion), Penjana (RM35 billion), Kita Prihatin (RM10 billion) and Permai (RM15 billion). – MMO