Most economists agree that the government needs to pump in cash into the economy to cushion the recession triggered by COVID-19
Putrajaya needs to stop reviving construction-based mega-projects and instead execute community-based micro-projects to put money in peoples’ pockets. Mega-projects only benefit certain large corporations, some outsourcing SMEs and a few capitalists. Mega-projects may boost the GDP but they do not create jobs nor put money in the hands of ordinary Malaysians. Instead of training and paying local workers, construction corporations increase their profits by overworking and underpaying foreign labourers.
Putrajaya should give money to communities to spend on their respective housing areas, community spaces, local infrastructure, hospitals and schools. As an example, we could establish a committee within a school consisting of parents, teachers, management and supporting staff to identify immediate repairs and improvements for the schools. Putrajaya could fund the school committee to hire people in their respective communities who had lost jobs or income to execute these micro-projects.
Such a scheme can be emulated nationwide at Orang Asli settlements, neighbourhoods, hospitals, PPR, Felda settlements, fishing villages etc. Open-ended community-led micro-projects will solve local problems such collapsing school roofs, damaged football fields, absence of streetlights etc. These measures will put money in pockets of the most vulnerable in exchange for improving communities as we wait for the economy and job market to recover.
However, right-wing career politicians must stop demanding grandiose ‘Majilis’ to honour themselves as lots of public funds are spent to uplift ‘Yang Berhormat’ instead of uplifting the communities. Instead, the elected representatives must sit in the community meetings so they can help handle any government bureaucracy hindering the projects.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
State Chairperson,Parti Sosialis Malaysia Malacca (PSM Melaka)