Our so-called first stimulus package is fast turning out to be a dud (dead?) deal.
While it’s “ciput” money at RM7billion (compared to the rest of the world’s, of course) but the almost invisible impact on the ground makes it even lesser still.
Now from the horses' mouth we hear “the results could only be seen and felt in 12 to 18 months as the funds are being distributed in stages to big projects.”
Stimulus packages are supposed to be shock therapy, to jumpstart the recovery (or at least to lessen the pain), otherwise we might as well call it a budget.
If it takes a whole bloody (Cor Blimey!) year and a half to have any visible impact, its just not worth an iota as a stimulus package offering as by that time, the world’s economy would either:
~ be at the stone age era, with barter trades back in style, or
~ back on the fast track of yet another bubble waiting to burst.
I’ve written on our seemingly very slothlike pace, but really, 12 to 18 months?
While everyone else is raring with their gigantic stimulus packages (Japan has announced THREE in the last few months; but their economy is really down in the dumps), we are stuck in “kita akan kaji" mode.
Curioser still is the portion of the Deputy Finance Minister’s statement on “distributed in stages to big projects” as news reports suggest the RM7 billion are mostly to the small and medium projects instead.
Things like “low and medium-cost houses, upgrading, repairing and maintenance of police stations, army camps and living quarters, minor projects like village roads, community halls and small bridges, public amenities such as roads, schools and hospitals; and building and upgrading of roads in rural areas, villages, as well as agriculture roads.”
Small, minor ticket items, that help mostly the Class F contractors.
Hmm.... 12 to 18 months for the impact to be felt; meaning what?
That the money will only be paid in 12 to 18 months?
That the constructions would be complete in 12 to 18 months?
That spin-off economic activities would only be seen on the grounds in 12 to 18 months?
Another intention of stimulus packages is to inspire confidence.
“12 to 18 months” is as inspiring as watching banana slugs race.
Heck, at 6.5 inches every two hours, it might just outspeed us.
The need for speed: the Shinkansen