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Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 25th January 2009: 

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should give 6 big economic ang pows including cutting electricity tariffs and price of petrol to prevent the loss of 50,000 jobs after Chinese New Year 

The government expects a loss of 50,000 jobs after Chinese New Year and DAP urge 6 immediate measures to try to save Malaysian jobs. Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam had announced that the government had allocated RM50 million of the RM100 million approved under the Retrenchment Fund to find replacement jobs within a month after they have registered with the Labour Department. Those who fail to secure a job will be sent for training of new skills and be paid a monthly allowance of RM500 for a period between three and six months.

These measures are not sufficient. As the future Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must be pro-active and not wait until 50,000 workers are retrenched before taking action. There must be 6 big ang-pows:

  1. RM 6,000 to all families earning less than RM 6,000 a month or RM 3,000 annual bonus to bachelors earning less than RM 3,000 a month will cost RM 35 billion or a mere one-third of Petronas last year's gross profits of RM 107 billion;
  2. RM 13 billion in direct assistance to companies by reducing the corporate tax rate from the present 25% to 13%;
  3. Daily revision of petrol prices to take into account of dropping international price of oil;
  4. Immediate reduction in gas prices as well as electricity tariffs(which comprise 30% of manufacturing costs), that was increased by 26% for businesses when the price of oil was USD 124 per barrel to reflect in the drop to less than USD 50 per barrel;
  5. Full exemption from paying the human resources development levy for all sectors until recession is over and not the present announcement of exemption to employers in the textile, electronics and electrical sectors for six months from Feb 1; and
  6. 6. RM 2 billion national WiFi project in all major towns and cities in to allow as many Malaysians as possible to be connected to the Internet.

With declining orders and revenue, only by cutting down costs can jobs be saved. The time has come for the government to look after the interests of 27 million Malaysians instead of the profits of one or two companies such as TNB or Petronas.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General & Penang Chief Minister; Member of Parliament for Bagan



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