Pakatan sceptical despite huge package

By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 10 - While welcoming the huge sum allocated for the second stimulus package, opposition leaders believed that the measures taken might not be sufficient.

"I see quite a few medium to long term measures but there are none in the short term period, in times like this it is important for us to put money in the people's pocket, especially for the poor," said DAP's Tony Pua.

He added that the impact of RM25 billion from guarantee funds would only be felt in the long term.

"In a crisis, we can't wait for measures to have impact in 12 months, we need it within the next month," Pua told reporters.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said there should be more allocation for unemployment.

On the deficit of 7.6 per cent announced by Najib, Pua said that it is acceptable in a crisis situation but he expected the figure to be close to 10 per cent by the end of the year.

"It is not healthy but in a crisis situation it is something we have to tolerate," said Pua.

Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim hoped that the allocation would be disbursed in a responsible manner.

"The worry that we all have is the leakages, the way the contracts are given, so every dollar of money out we should get the value for money," said Khalid.

He added that the state government would work closely with the federal government in implementing the stimulus package.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters that the amount allocated for Penang is not sufficient.

In his speech Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the expansion of Penang Airport project worth RM250 million.

"We welcome the proposal but it falls far short of what is required to make Penang more profitable for Malaysia and as a key tourist gateway, key halal gateway and key international gateway for Malaysia," said Lim.

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