NIP, the first step to Malaysia’s economic recovery – IDEAS
18 Feb 2021
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) is the rst step to Malaysia’s economic recovery, a think tank said today.
The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) research director Laurence Todd said with the NIP, Malaysia will start to see economic success like other countries (United Kingdom and the United States) that have rolled out their immunisation programmes.
“Malaysia is moving fast with its immunisation plan with a wider community protected from the virus, and the country can start thinking of opening up the economy permanently.
“This (immunisation programme) will be what businesses need and (it would) certainly bring investments back into Malaysia,” he said on Bernama TV’s ‘Mid-day Update’ programme.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday launched the NIP handbook.
The programme commences on Feb 26, pending the arrival of the rst batch of vaccine doses on Feb 21. The immunisation will be carried out in three phases.
The first being from Feb 26 until April 2021, the second starts from April until August 2021, and the third is scheduled to be from May 2021 until February 2022.
Todd said other than the NIP, continuous support to households and businesses would also help boost investors’ condence.
“We should also think about how to make our economy more resilient in future. That means creating bubble investments to digitalise the economy, including infrastructure and skills.
“Large talents are able to help small businesses to move online. This ensures our economy is ready to face such (pandemic) impacts in future and continue to build a more resilient economy,” Todd said.
He added that investors are going to be looking for an economy that is making efforts to make them more resilient.
“Improving competition, tackling governance issues and increasing transparency are some areas which allow or encourage more investors to come into the country,” he said.
Todd also commented about the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) which has identied 240 high prole foreign investment projects in the manufacturing and services sectors this year.
MIDA said a combined potential investment value of RM81.9 billion is being negotiated and targeted, while the gross domestic product was projected to grow 7.5 per cent this year.
He said the economic projection for the third and fourth quarters is achievable only if the immunisation plan proceed timely and accordingly.
“Seeking vaccines is important as well as building a stronger vision on why Malaysia is an important place to invest, with economic competitiveness and well-dened governance.
“But the big question is not just looking at 2021. Are we building that resilience in the longer term?”
On Jan 11, Malaysia, through the Ministry of Health, signed an agreement with Pzer (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for the delivery of the COVID-19 Pzer-BioNTech BNT1262b vaccine.
The agreement involved the acquisition of the rst 12,799,800 vaccine doses for 20 per cent of the population, with two doses for each person.