Thursday, 13 May 2021 05:28 PM MYT
BY KENNETH TEE
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang today urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s federal government to announce a multi-billion ringgit economic stimulus package to alleviate the hardship faced by Malaysians, following the sudden announcement of a renewed nationwide lockdown earlier this week.
The DAP veteran claimed that the government had failed in its promise to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of Malaysians, especially the poor and vulnerable groups when it did not follow through with said financial assistance following the recent announcement.
“When MCO 1.0 and 2.0 were imposed, there was government assistance in the form of loan moratorium, cash assistance, grants for small businesses and wage subsidies.
“Why is such assistance absent now?” he said in a statement this evening
The current iteration of the movement control order (MCO), dubbed MCO 3.0, began yesterday and will last until June 7. During this time all state and district crossing is prohibited, as are social, educational, and certain sporting activities save for those in open areas.
Lim also questioned the Perikatan Nasional leadership whether such financial assistance will be announced in due course or never will.
In a televised broadcast last night, Muhyiddin justified the restrictions placed on the public during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive period as necessary to protect the lives of everyone.
He also acknowledged the decision to place restrictions is unpopular with the public, adding that many were angry with him, seeing as how Muslims will celebrate Aidilfitri without being able to go back to their villages or hometowns.
Stressing that Malaysia now faces a rapidly spreading pandemic with new and alarming variants, the prime minister said it was a difficult yet necessary decision by the government.
The Health Ministry recorded 4,855 new Covid-19 cases today, bringing the total number of cases detected in Malaysia since the beginning of the pandemic to almost half a million at 458,077.