Ramon Navaratnam says we must overcome the severe challenges posed by the coronavirus, the present economic slowdown and the imminent recession that is highly likely.
The cabinet deserves to be commended for sacrificing two months salary, to donate to the battle against the coronavirus.
Indeed our cabinet has sent a strong signal to all Malaysians that this is a time of crisis in our economy and health and in the welfare of our collective people.
Hence, this is the time to rally as one nation and Malaysians first.
We need especially to help each other in the spirit of national unity and patriotism and to overcome the severe challenges posed by the coronavirus, the current economic slowdown and the imminent recession that is highly likely.
The government has now encouragingly expanded its economic stimulus package. But this antidote to the economic slowdown and the coronavirus attack may not be enough
So we have to monitor the evolving situation closely and be prepared to come out with new policy issues to fight back more effectively.
But our resources are limited by our large budget deficits and big debts. Sometimes it is also scary to hear some politicians and public leaders ask for more allocations, as if our resources are limitless.
This is therefore the time to revise our strategies with new proposals to consider:
- Malaysians should follow the cabinet‘s excellent example of salary cuts to donate to the Covid-19 Fund
- Corporate leaders should lead the way to donate to the fund by themselves, followed by their high-income employees
- Government development expenditure should be reduced and phased out to meet the rapidly increasing operating expenditure that is essential to combat Covid-19. We also need to do more for our gallant frontline personnel. Many work round the clock without food
- Malaysians should cooperate much more to stay at home. We have never had this experience even in war time. But we must help each other by staying at home faithfully
- The reality is that we have to prepare ourselves to face a recession from now. Those who lose their jobs or are unable to find any for some time have no alternative but to adjust accordingly
We are facing unprecedented challenges and we have to rise to these serious health and economic attacks with courage, national unity and God’s grace. As a united Malaysia, we Malaysians shall overcome, as the consolation is that these onslaughts cannot last for long.
May God bless us all.