A new economic stimulus package will be announced in Malaysia next Thursday (27 February, 4.30pm), by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In a press release, Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng said this package intends to mitigate the "adverse external economic impacts" of the COVID-19 outbreak on Malaysia while preserving the welfare of country's people.

What should be noted, however, is that this package is neither a new budget, nor part of the Budget 2020 measures. Instead, it is meant to provide assistance to sectors affected by the virus outbreak, to allow the economy to emerge as whole as possible and benefit from the expected economic rebound post-COVID-19.

Minister Lim stated: "Whilst the market is facing serious challenges, we should not despair but instead, persevere to allow our industry to survive so that the country is ready to benefit from the economic rebound once the COVID-19 threat is over.

"Cashflow is the principal concern and the affected companies must ensure that they remain viable, operational and capable of reaping the benefits when the economic rebound takes place."

Additionally, it was highlighted that while the government will adopt measures to assist these companies, emphasis should still be placed on exploring alternative revenues - for instance, by moving towards encouraging domestic tourism, and sourcing from other markets.

"This also involves keeping the domestic labour market resilient while ensuring our soft and physical infrastructure remains in place amid the short-term weakened demand."

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