THE RM60 billion mini budget tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, 10 March 2009 is by far a better and more comprehensive package than the first RM7 billion plan that was announced last November.
But then again, the economic environment today has taken a turn for the worst compared to a few months ago, and there is now recognition that despite strong fundamentals, Malaysia will not escape the impact of global recession.
Tough times therefore call for tough measures. Thus, the second plan contains measures that will tackle the key problems facing the economy – rising unemployment in the manufacturing sector, difficulty in accessing funds by small- and medium scale enterprises, a squeeze on corporate earnings and waning consumer confidence.
The strategy is two-pronged – measures are aimed at tackling the immediate problems facing the economy to prevent a deep recession, as well as at addressing the longer-term structural issues facing the economy.
However, given the severity of the global economic downturn, billed as the Great Recession by the International Monetary Fund, it is not a certainty that the two packages combined will be effective enough to prevent the domestic economy from sliding into a recession this year and enable a quick recovery in 2010.
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This article first appeared in www.theedgemalaysia.com under the same title on 10 March 2009. Used with permission.