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Calls for more stimulus misguided

15 Sep 2020 / 03:35 H.

    THE economy continues to rebound. Unemployment in July was 4.6%, down from 4.8% in June and the high of 5.3% in May. Manufacturing is also in a rebound, with sales in July growing by 2.1% from June.

    Yet, we continue to hear calls for more stimulus measures. These include for the government to spend more to pump prime the economy, to extend the wage subsidy programme and to extend the loan moratorium.

    These are misguided and misinformed suggestions, given where we are in the economic cycle.

    Measures like wage subsidy and loan moratorium are like steroids and painkillers. They help provide pain relief and jolts of energy. This was essential when the Malaysian economy was rushed into the emergency ward when the MCO commenced in March.

    The country has since then been discharged from hospital, and it is time for the medications to change.

    While the economy as a whole is showing a strong recovery, parts of the economy are still in pain. A good doctor will therefore change the prescription to fit the patient’s circumstances.

    The prescription would entail more targeted relief, with the medicine localised and the dosage adjusted needed.

    If the doctor maintains the same dosage and does not change the prescription to best meet the patient’s needs, he is acting unprofessionally and unethically by harming the patient. If anything, he is only promoting drug addiction.

    Like it or not, the country must rid itself of its addiction to debt and government handouts.

    JP

    Kota Kinabalu

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