It doesn't take a genius to tell that the current economy is not doing too well, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and its long lasting effects.
But it does take a genius (not!) to come up with the best workaround to help the economy.
Do more harm than good?
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal went on radio station BFM
on Monday (16 November) to talk about the current state of the economy.
During the 'Morning Brief' segment, He commented on the various initiatives proposed by the government during the Budget 2021, including the decision to let EPF members withdraw money from their Account 1 to pay bills.
He noted that letting the rakyat
dipping into their EPF funds is not a long term solution, so he offered his solution to fix the economy: ask Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to print more money.
When asked about how the initiatives would help the rakyat
manage their debt due to the current econimic situation, Wan Ahmad Fayshal suggested that BNM could print 'helicopter money' and practice forgiving debt to help those in need.
“We can couple this (forgiving debt) with a helicopter money monetary policy, where the central bank can directly print money and give it to the people so that they can spend it," he was quoted as saying.
In case you're wondering, helicopter money refers to the act of printing a large sum of new money and then distributing it among the public to stimulate the economy during a recession, which is akin to a helicopter dropping emergency supplies during tough times.
You can listen to the whole interview below:
However, former Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) CEO Jalil Rasheed has rubbished the idea of printing more money.
Jalil told Malaysiakini
that a helicopter policy can backfire badly, as demonstrated by the hyperinflation in countries such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
“Printing money is not a solution for Malaysia. It drives down the currency value – it’s already weak enough – when you have too much in circulation," he was quoted by the news portal as saying.
Of course, it doesn't take a financial expert to see that helicopter money is not beneficial in the long run:
Sigh, let's just hope the real
experts know what needs to be done to save the economy.