MALAYSIA RESPONDS: RM250 billion stimulus buys us time, will we succeed ah?

A woman receives a COVID-19 test at a quarantine hotel in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. China on Tuesday reported just one new death from the coronavirus and a few dozen new cases, claiming that all new cases came from overseas. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

David Christy

A fisherman in Pantai Kampung Cempaka, Kuantan preparing his net before going out to sea amid a Movement Control Order in the country following the Covid-19 outbreak. – The government is hoping that the stimulus package will benefit all Malaysians, especially the B40 group. — Pix: Bernama

THE stimulus package is necessary. It is not an option.

No, not all of it is truly extra cash from the national Treasury. Yes, much of it may be financial adjustments here and there.

But if such a stimulus were not devised, the economy would have sunk into nowhere. And the people along with it into a nightmare.

That is true in Malaysia. It is true in the other lands of the world too.

In a fantastical world, RM250 billion could last us a long, long time. US$2 trillion, the sum of the gargantuan American stimulus package, would be enough for several lifetimes.

But that’s in another world.

In the coronavirus reality, things are different.

In this existence, these monies buy us only time. Time to together fight and extinguish Covid-19.

If the battle is not won in Malaysia in the next few months, would we have billions more to continue the struggle?

If the battle is not won in Indonesia or Thailand or India, would victories in Malaysia and elsewhere mean anything? The virus will cross the border as easily as the wind, coming back faster than we can say Jack Robinson.

So this is a war that must be won on all fronts.

The fight is not just for ourselves. It is for every single brother and sister across the planet.

If we in Malaysia don’t vanquish Covid-19 in the next few months, another RM250 billion may be necessary. God knows if we can spare it.

So let’s whack this virus out of existence in the short time that we have. That should be the only option in our minds.

The writer is NST production editor

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times


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