It has been reported that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would be announcing later this week a multi-billion ringgit economic package to boost the economy and counter the anticipated global slowdown with the expected recession in the United States.
Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin has confirmed that the Government has drawn up measures to be announced in the next few days to help the country cushion the impact of the impending economic slowdown in the United States.
The Malaysian economy grew by 8.5% last year and the Government is targeting a growth of 6-7% this year. However, if the United States goes into a recession, Malaysia's growth could be trimmed to as low as 4%.
Any economic package to face the new Malaysian economic crisis in less than four years since the Asian financial crisis of 1997 must give the highest priority to ensuring public confidence in government efficiency and integrity.
The government must face up to the fact that public confidence in the efficiency and integrity of government has reached an all-time low in the nation's history, and this is why the most important element in the new crisis economic package is to able to rally united national support behind the government. To do this, the first prerequisite is for the government to revoke and end all bailouts or crony companies using taxpayers' money through governbment-linked funds and agencies so as to inject public confidence..
The scandalous use of funds from the Employees Provident Fund, the Pensions
Trust Fund, Khazanah, Danaharta in the bailout of companies like Time dotCom,
Time Engineering, Renong, LRT companies of PUTRA and STAR, and Indah Water
Consortium, can only engender suspicion and distrust that the government
is prepared to carry out thorough-going reforms and end all forms of abuses
of public funds in facing up to the new economic crisis looming before