CORONAVIRUS | Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is slated to announce on Feb 27 the economic stimulus package aimed at mitigating the fiscal impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the stimulus is intended to mitigate the adverse external economic impacts of the outbreak on Malaysia while preserving the welfare of the rakyat.
“Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will announce an economic stimulus package on Thursday, Feb 27, 2020, at 4.30pm. The economic stimulus package is neither a new budget nor part of Budget 2020.
“Instead, assistance will be given to the affected sectors to allow the economy to emerge as whole as possible and benefit from the expected economic rebound post-Covid-19,” Lim said in a statement today.
He said his ministry was also working together with the ministries of economic affairs, transport, tourism, arts and culture, entrepreneur development and cooperatives plus various agencies to prepare the economic stimulus programme.
The government is also consulting with stakeholders in the tourism, logistics and finance sectors, small and medium enterprises, as well as government-linked funds and companies.
Meanwhile, Lim advised affected companies to take their cashflow into consideration and adopt measures to ensure viability until the economic rebound.
“The government will adopt measures to assist these companies but emphasis should also be placed on exploring alternative revenues such as shifting towards encouraging domestic tourism and sourcing from other markets.
“This also involves keeping the domestic labour market resilient while ensuring our soft and physical infrastructure remains in place amid the short-term weakened demand,” he said.
Various sectors, namely the tourism, retail and aviation industries, have been impacted by the virus outbreak since it first surfaced in Wuhan city in the Hubei province of China last December.
This prompted the Malaysian government to announce plans for a stimulus package to cushion its economic impact and aid the local market.
To date, over 20 countries are affected although China - the epicentre of the outbreak - remains the worse hit with close to 65,000 sickened and 1,400 recorded deaths.
Malaysia has recorded 19 positive cases of the virus with seven patients having since recovered.