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2022 to be recovery year for Malaysia’s economy — Muhyiddin

2022 to be recovery year for Malaysia’s economy — Muhyiddin

09 Sep 2021

Next year is expected to be a recovery year for the country’s economy but the path to recovery can be prolonged and a painful process, former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today. 

Speaking in his capacity as the newly appointed National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman, Muhyiddin said the government’s strategy has been very clear from the beginning.

“Fully vaccinating more people means more are protected from severe infections. This in turn means less burden on our healthcare sector and the lifting of more restrictions on economic and social sectors and hence, a faster return to normalcy,” he said.  

This together with the economic initiatives undertaken by the government since March 2020 have formed a strong basis for the country’s recovery, he added.

Muhyiddin was referring to the eight economic stimulus packages with a value of RM530 billion and bold fiscal spending of more than RM80 billion announced and implemented to directly assist more than 20 million Malaysians and more than 500,000 businesses. 

“I am cautiously optimistic that with a whole of nation approach, the year 2022 will be the year of Malaysia’s recovery,” the former premier said in his closing address at the virtually-held National Recovery Summit.

“Having said that, we must be mindful that the national recovery process is long and painful. This will be true not just for individuals but also businesses, especially in sectors which have regrettably experienced harsh times. 

“Helping these sectors will involve not just implementing the exit strategy from the four phases, but will need to work well into the medium and long-term horizons. Nonetheless, with a clear strategy, proper planning, and execution, we can avoid a permanent scar to our economy and most importantly, to our socio-economic fabric,” he added.

NRC to explore five themes to kick-start economy 

In charting the recovery process, Muhyiddin said the government through the NRC will build on and explore several themes, such as strengthening Malaysia’s public healthcare system and related industries to enhance preparedness to exit the pandemic into the endemic stage and preparing for potential future pandemics. 

In addition, he said there is the need to identify economic sectors that require the utmost attention with a focus on tourism, education and the small and medium enterprises in the short to medium term while identifying and properly incentivizing businesses which have good growth potentials in the medium to long term; as well as creating a conducive and sustainable ecosystem for inclusive growth which will enable a robust recovery.

Other themes include enhancing the adoption of digitalization in businesses and government services and providing the necessary infrastructure that will encourage the adoption of digital technologies. 

“Finally, we need to ensure that the growth nurtured through the recovery process is distributed evenly, to avoid widening of income gaps and worsening fault lines in our society,” Muhyiddin said

As with any crisis management situation, the NRC chairman raised the point that speed is of the essence, noting the recent Delta Covid-19 variant, which spreads faster and is far deadlier, is the culprit behind the spike in cases not just in Malaysia but everywhere else in the world.

“Therefore, we must never let our guard down and we must be vigilant against the constantly evolving threats the virus poses to our nation. We must constantly improve our Covid-19 pandemic management, especially in infusing new technologies and consistently upgrading our physical and digital response capacity in testing, tracing, and isolating.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us. Therefore, I strongly urge all Malaysians to be united. We must be resolute in our conviction that we can win this war on Covid-19 and rebuild our country. 

“We must put aside all differences whether in politics, business, society or family to combine our collective might in this fight against Covid-19. We must come together to heal lives, heal the economy, and heal the nation. Malaysia needs all her sons and daughters to come forward to restore her glory,” he said.   

Source: The Edge Markets

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