PUTRAJAYA: The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will continue taking appropriate measures to achieve a balance between protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people affected by Covid-19, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pix) said.
He said Malaysia was not spared from Covid-19 as the country struggled to cope and strive the negative impact of the pandemic on the safety and wellbeing of the people, as well as the economy.
“The partial shutdown of economic activities has brought about serious impacts which caused many workers to suffer job losses due to workplace closure, traders to close shop and supply of essential goods to be affected.
“Under the caring PN government with me as the Prime Minister, we tried to do our level best to revive the economy and put our people back in the job market,” he said in his speech during a visit to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) Enforcement Command Centre here today.
Present was KPDNHEP Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Muhyiddin said the pandemic also had a huge impact on the lives of the people, including the way they work, study and do business.
“The pandemic made us realise that in order to move forward, we have to break away from normal life by introducing various effective measures to cushion the impacts of the pandemic on the people and the country’s economy.
“No more business as usual. Now is the time to generate new ideas and to become more innovative,” he said.
Muhyiddin said right from the beginning, the government had taken the 6R approach namely Resolve, Resilient, Restart, Recover, Revitalise and Reform in achieving a balance between ensuring the survival of the people and economic recovery of the country.
Right now, he said Malaysia is in the Revitalise phase, which is to revitalise the country’s economy.
The Prime Minister said an important aspect of the country’s economic recovery was the successful implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which has now entered its second phase.
He said all plans for the country’s vaccination programme were now running smoothly, to achieve the target of ensuring that at least 80% of Malaysia’s adult population, or the equivalent of 26.5 million individuals, received the vaccine, free of charge, by February 2022.
“This step is important to establish group protection or herd immunity. Therefore, with more and more people in Malaysia getting vaccinated, I am confident that we will finally be able to deal with this pandemic effectively,” he said.
Muhyiddin said various stimulus packages had been introduced by the government to revive the country’s economy, including the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA), worth RM20 billion.
This initiative is a continuation of other economic recovery plans which have been introduced, such as the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN), National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), Additional Prihatin SME Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin SME Plus), Prihatin Supplementary Initiative Package (Kita Prihatin) and Malaysian Economic and Rakyat Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI).
The government has also allocated RM322.5 billion as the national 2021 Budget, which is the largest in the country’s history, he said.
“As a result, our country is on the right track to revitalise the economy, driven by economic sectors and business activities, of which almost all have been allowed to resume operations,” he said.
Muhyiddin said one of the methods to accelerate economic recovery was by using new technology.
“This pandemic shows the importance of improving and strengthening our digital technology and infrastructure, to facilitate work management.
“It has also created a sense of urgency of the importance of the digital entry agenda, to enable millions of people to do jobs, run businesses, learn and connect digitally,” he said.
He also said that through the MyDigital plan and the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, among the targets, were to drive the digital transformation of the public sector and this included efforts to produce 100% digitally literate civil servants and 80% online government services right from the beginning to the end, by 2025.
Muhyiddin said the government had also allocated RM21 billion for the next five years to implement the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA), which would serve as a platform to achieve these aspirations by accelerating the country’s digital connectivity through the spread of mobile, fibre and wireless access, as well as paving the way for 5G spectrum.
At the same time, he said the country’s economic recovery agenda would continue, and the government had set 10 important foundations to determine the nation’s future direction.
The foundations include the core of economic recovery; boosting economic growth; education; health sector reform; Bumiputera agenda; food security; integrity; security and public order; unity and digitalisation of Malaysia.
For that purpose, he said the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (WKB2030) has been placed as the axis of economic policies aimed to ensure that Malaysians achieve a decent standard of living by 2030.
Muhyiddin also said that the Bank Negara Malaysia has recently projected that the country’s economy will grow in the range of 6.0 to 7.5% this year.
“The stable domestic activity recovery, coupled with increased external demand, is the fundamental factor in driving such optimism,” he said. — Bernama