• Office of YB Wong Chen

And The Market Responds (Again)

The markets are in turmoil again this morning. Last week was a real roller-coaster. The global stock markets today are and will be factoring in the full economic impact of Covid 19, using Italy, Iran and South Korea as models. The overall mood is to project a likely global recession in weeks or months to come.

Oil price also dropped 20% in one day, as OPEC and Russian producers decided to engage in a free market price war. Iran also needs more cash to deal with their extremely serious Covid 19 crisis. Malaysian consumers may celebrate having cheaper petrol but Malaysia as an oil and gas producer, will have fiscal challenges ahead.

It is times like this, that we need an effective government to intervene in the market. As angry as I am with the backdoor government, I too realise we have an overriding duty to quickly stabilise the economy for the rakyat. As such, I have consistently said that the politics can be dealt with constitutionally in May, when Parliament reconvenes.

In my opinion, immediate policies moving ahead must be people centric. Supporting wages, improving productivity of workers involved in tourism, retail and transport sectors should be the main focus. Reorganising how we work, either from home and at segregated workplace should be a priority. We can start looking and learning from at Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

Workers must also be given the time and opportunity to overcome and evolve from these difficult times. If we fail to intervene effectively, we will all pay the price when domestic consumption drops dramatically. When domestic consumption drops, a recession, local and global will become inevitable.