KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Amid the pressing economic and health crises in the country, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today it was encouraging that policies Pakatan Harapan (PH) introduced were still easing the burdens of Malaysians now under a new government.
Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, also said one of PH’s final tasks before it was ousted was to prepare the RM20 billion 2020 Economic Stimulus Package to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, which he hoped the new government would fully implement as soon as possible.
One of the measures included an immediate 3-month moratorium on loan repayments for affected businesses and assistance to workers.
“It is heartening that at least now, because of Pakatan Harapan’s policy, Malaysians are protected by MySalam free insurance which was expanded in February 2020 to also cover medical conditions resulting from Covid-19,” he said in a message on DAP’s 54th anniversary.
The mySalam scheme initiated by the PH government provides free health insurance and takaful protection for both recipients and non-recipients of the Cost of Living Aid, against 45 critical illnesses.
He also cited how the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) payment scheduled for May 2020 has been brought forward to March 2020 and Malaysians now having to pay 18 per cent lower toll fares on highways managed by PLUS that came into effect in February 2020.
On Monday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the RM200 BSH aid payment under the Economic Stimulus Package—announced by then interim prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad—was to have been credited only in May this year.
The payments were made on Monday, March 16 itself.
“I hope these legacies of Pakatan Harapan government will ease the burdens of ordinary Malaysians, while we await the new government’s additional action to save Malaysian businesses and 15 million workers,” Lim further added.
Lim also called upon Malaysians to remain calm and united in the face of adversities amid the Covid-19 pandemic now affecting almost globally.
Muhyiddin had in a special announcement on Monday said Malaysia will effectively be hitting pause on all non-essential activities for two weeks from tomorrow (March 18) until March 31 to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus under a nationwide movement control order.
This order covers the whole of Malaysia, with a ban on public gatherings including for any religious, sports, social and cultural events except for supermarkets, sundry goods stores, markets and other places selling daily necessities or things that people would need for their day-to-day lives.
This is the first time Malaysia has enforced such an order.
Meanwhile, Lim also said as long as the people have not lost their health, hope and faith in each other, they shall unite to return power to the people’s choice and not the rejects.
This comes after the country was plunged into a political crisis last month which saw the collapse of the PH government and the takeover of the newly formed Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.
“Yes, we have lost power to an unelected government after winning the 2018 general elections. It is a travesty of justice that the winners become the losers and the losers become the winners.
“We have lost our positions but never our principles. We have lost power but never our loyalty to right against wrong. We have lost the government but not lost the trust of the rakyat.
“This belief in people’s power determining our nation’s destiny drives us to reclaim the people’s government,” he added.
He then described how DAP as an opposition party faced decades of tribulations and trials before succeeding beyond all expectations when it became part of the government at both the federal and state level.
“DAP leaders and members persevered and soldiered on in our belief that the cause of Malaysians is greater than each one of us individually.
“We set our sights to be the best opposition party in Malaysian history, then a party in government and to be part of the best government. We succeeded beyond all expectations not just in the state of Penang but also at the federal government level,” he said.