By Mohamad Faris Haziq
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, our life is not getting any easier due to many unprecedented occurrences which we couldn’t foresee. Some lives have been ruined due to financial downturn and many lost directions as to how to sustain their living.
Financial downturn has compelled many to take unconscionable steps to avert from a greater challenge such as divorce, taking excessive loan, selling their assets and many more. Even though the government has allocated billions of ringgit to facilitate the life of many people, the question is whether the money given can help them secure their job back?
There is a huge disparity between getting employed and getting financial help from the government. Financial help from the government is a need and would probably return their life back to normal, but ironically, it would merely last for a certain period. Some would argue that the money could be used to initiate a small business, but not all people are competent to run a business.
One of the initiatives taken by the government is the allocation of RM35 billion through Penjana programme aimed at helping people to learn and involve themselves in the business world, and to assist in fostering the economy. But the issue here is on the effectiveness of the initiative taken. Mere knowledge on business is not sufficient to give them success in a business world. The government in March last year embarked on a series of economic stimulus measures totalling RM305 billion.
According to The Edge Market, the Ministry of Finance (MOF’s) 2021 report on unemployment rate in Malaysia showed it amounted to 3.5% which is an estimated 562.6 million unemployed persons. Massive expenses are not a definite success. Since many companies are fighting to turn their business around, it is the paramount factor on the increase of unemployment among the people.
What can be done to mitigate unemployment rate? Let’s take a broader view. The government might as well execute a new initiative that would be more effective.
The government would have opted to allocate billions of ringgits either by providing projects to the deserved companies in order to stabilise their economy, and afterwards they would find it easier to recruit more people for work or even by encouraging companies irrespective of the size, through awareness campaign, to recruit fresh graduates to procure a wiser idea to fight against financial depression.
During difficult times, we fight together as one, let us therefore remind ourselves that many who are out there bereft of basic necessities. We could contribute at the very minimal by spending a small percentage of our monthly income to help them. ***
(The writer, Mohamad Faris Haziq Bin Mohammed Shaharin is a first year Law student at IIUM and a participant of Adun Muda Selangor Virtual 2020, representing Balakong)