Saturday, January 31, 2009


It was said some 70% of the first RM7 billion stimulus package had been disbursed through 4,667 projects in the package for education and health that had been awarded. It is an effort by the government to stimulate economic activities. It wasnt far back when many asian countries including Malaysia had to go through extensive economic downturn late 90's. I thought the economic interventions then were much bolder and penetrated deep into the economic web. And people are still talking about it and about Mahathir.

This particular economic turmoil is far different because it is worldwide and it hit harder. Yeng ai chun assembles some interesting comments by readers as Najib opens up the stimulus package. Lets read further.

What people want
from the government

The star online
by yeng ai chun
sat 31st jan 2009

Many of those who responded to what the Government should offer under the stimulus package are asking for an income tax-free year and tax exemption for buying locally-made goods.

They also asked the Government to improve public transportation and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers in order to create more jobs.

While some outlined ideas to help the economy, not all was in ringgit and sen, but issues on good governance, integrity and transparency were also mentioned in Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s blog.

Since Najib posted the entry on Jan 22 to ask for ideas on what to be included in the second stimulus package, 210 comments had been left on his blog –

A reader, Md Dashirul, said the Government should start improving the public transportation system since it was labour-intensive and would create more jobs, thus spurring the economy.

Many readers felt that there should be an allocation for better transportation to alleviate traffic congestion in the Klang Valley.

A reader, Vincent TKL, said it was mindboggling that a person who was retrenched or unemployed was still expected to pay taxes for his last drawn salary or compensation.

The country’s dependence on foreign workers were also mentioned by NKKHO and he suggested that there should be a cap on the number of foreign workers a company could hire to provide more job opportunities for the lower-income group.

Another respondent, Bangsa-Malaysia, said the actual effect of any stimulus package would be minimised by virtue of the rampant corruption that was endemic in the government administration and private sector.

He added that Malaysia could not afford to keep wasting its precious resources on corruption and cronyism and that such practices must stop.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam who e-mailed a reply to The Star, said it was important that the total stimulus package be released urgently before the next Budget to forestall and pre-empt the effects of the coming economic downturn.