PM: Govt ready to implement additional economic stimulus package if necessary

It is my responsibility to care for the people regardless of their race, creed and colour. This is my utmost priority, says Muhyiddin

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE government is prepared to implement additional economic stimulus package or other initiatives to help the people facing economic constraints if necessary and if the government’s financial situation allows it, Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture; left) said.

He said “caring for the people” has always been the main guiding principle for him and his Perikatan Nasional (PN) government after receiving the mandate to be the PM.

“It is my responsibility to care for the people regardless of their race, creed and colour. This is my utmost priority.

“What I have done for the past six months was based on this principle. I have to take care not only of people’s lives, but also their livelihood,” he said when officiating the closing of PN Administration’s Half-Year Convention in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

Muhyiddin said the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, loan moratorium, special assistance for small and medium enterprises, wage subsidies, electricity bill discounts and other initiatives under the economic stimulus packages implemented previously were proof of the government’s concern for the people.

He said when the government took decisive action to enforce the Movement Control Order, almost all economic activities were halted, with the people unable to go out to work and run their businesses as usual, which affected their income and livelihood.

Muhyiddin said as the PM responsible for the people, he could not turn a blind eye to the problems.

“In this situation, I cannot let the people languish and starve. I have to ensure that all of you have a roof on your head and food on your table.

“That is why I asked the finance minister to find the money. It would break my heart to tell the people that the government did not have money to help them when they were facing hardship. The minister came back to me and said we have money and I said okay, we will use the money to help ease people’s burden.

“That was the money used by the government to provide various forms of assistance to the people through the previous economic stimulus packages totalling RM295 billion,” he said.

Muhyiddin also emphasised that carrying out his responsibilities was more important than the position he was in.

“From the time I took up the prime ministership, I placed my trust in Allah. For me, my position is not important, but it’s how I carry out my responsibilities as a leader. This leadership trust is a test for me and I must do the right thing. I can never compromise on my principles,” he said.

The convention organised by the National Intellectuals Organisation was also attended by the PM’s Special Ambassador to the Middle East Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (right), who is also PAS president and Marang MP.

Abdul Hadi was the first MP to sign the statutory declaration (SD) in support of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin becoming the 8th PM. This was revealed by Muhyiddin himself in his speech at the convention.

The PM said it was Abdul Hadi’s move that prompted other PN-aligned MPs to do the same during their individual meeting with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara in February.

“They were invited by Al-Sultan Abdullah to the palace to sign the SD and I want to inform you that the first SD was Haji (Abdul) Hadi’s.

“He was the first to put my name on the SD paper,” he said.

Last February, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to conduct a one-to-one interview of all 222 MPs to identify who has the majority support to be appointed as the PM.

“Personally, I didn’t expect to become the PM. There was no complot, no extraordinary political scheme to take over or topple someone, but it happened following a political crisis that was quite critical at that time, which we all knew,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said for a government without a specific manifesto, it was hard for the people to evaluate the performance of the PN government.

“However, this does not mean I can do things as I like. No manifesto does not mean I don’t have a responsibility or accountability to the people. I still have to demonstrate accountability as a leader,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the PN government was not formed as a result of a general election but was based on provisions in the Federal Constitution.

Therefore, the PN government does not have any manifesto or promises which are usually presented to the people during election campaigns, the PM added.