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MINDEF insists 'total lockdown' reports are all fake news

Mar 30, 2020


 

The Defense Minister has rubbished claims quoting him saying that there’d be a total lockdown imposed in certain locations. 

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob made it clear that he made no such statement, and those reports are fake news.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Ismail also assures there is sufficient supply of food for everyone, adding that checks have found that essential items are readily available for purchase. 

 

Separately, the Defense Ministry says some five million face masks from China will arrive here soon. 

Priority will be for frontliners, with the remainder to be distributed to the public for free. 

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Eight more COVID-19 deaths reported

 

The country recorded a further eight COVID-19 fatalities yesterday, the highest daily death toll reported so far. 

It brings the overall tally to 35. 

There is some good news though - the number of those who have recovered from the coronavirus also hit a record high at 68 yesterday.

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Where did the money for the new stimulus package come from?

The government’s 250 billion ringgit Covid-19 economic stimulus package has generally been well-received. 

It has, however, raised questions about where the money is coming from, especially with the government’s high level of debt. 

We spoke to Dr Shankaran Nambiar, senior research fellow with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, who clarified things for us: 

"I presume some of it will come from, bonds that the government could raise, it could also come from off-balance sheet financing, but if one carefully looks at the package, there’s not a great deal that actually need come from the govt funds, a lot of it is in the form of moratorium on loans, withdrawals from the EPF, and these don’t really put a burden on the govt’s finances."

Meanwhile, Malaysians who are eligible for financial assistance under the stimulus package, can start registering themselves with the Inland Revenue Board starting this Wednesday. 

However, those who have previously registered for Bantuan Sara Hidup, do not need to register again.


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