Silver linings for Melaka amid pandemic – Mohd Ali
24 Aug 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination programme and transition to Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (PPN) are among issues highlighted in the special message of the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam in conjunction with his 72nd Official Birthday Celebration today.
Mohd Ali, in a special message posted on the Melaka State Government’s Facebook page today, called on all parties to remain calm in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak following the increase in cases nationwide, and in Melaka.
He expressed hope that the ongoing vaccination programme could form a herd immunity and would revive the country in the near future while calling on the people to continue cultivating new norms by complying with all standard operating procedures set by the authorities.
“Melaka is expected to move to Phase 2 of the PPN by September and without the cooperation of all parties, efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 cannot be achieved and will continue to have a negative impact on the socio-economy of the state,” he said.
Mohd Ali said one of the main challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic was that the people lost their livelihoods and directly affected the unemployment rate in Melaka.
He said in 2020, Melaka recorded an unemployment rate of 2.2 per cent, the second-lowest after Putrajaya, and it was much lower than 4.5 per cent recorded at the national level.
He added that the state’s investment report this year gave a positive picture of its economic growth and hoped that the situation would continue to improve until the end of the year and in the coming years.
Mohd Ali said based on the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) report, Melaka recorded RM3.425 billion in total investments until March this year, involving RM3.264 billion in foreign investments and RM161 million in domestic investments.
“Although we are facing an economic crisis, I suggest that efforts to promote Melaka as one of the conducive investment destinations in the country will be further enhanced.
“Agencies such as the Melaka State Development Corporation (PKNM), Invest Melaka, Melaka Waterfront Economic Zone (M-WEZ) and state government subsidiaries must perform their respective roles for that purpose,” he said.
As a tourism-based state, Mohd Ali said the closure of borders and travel restrictions had impacted Melaka significantly in terms of tourist arrivals which showed a significant decrease of 5.7 million tourists in 2020 compared with 18.73 million people in 2019.
“However, I am very proud of the state government’s quick efforts to organise and plan so that the tourism sector continues to be active despite very challenging conditions.
“Initiatives such as developing the Melaka Tourism Digital Platform with the Melaka Safe Haven; Melaka Is The Place To Be; Relax In Melaka as well as the Melakan Visit Melaka campaigns are timely and should be implemented continuously to attract tourists and make Melaka the main destination of choice,” he said.
He also congratulated the state government leadership and members of the government administration, security forces and the people in the private sector who worked hard to ensure that Melaka continues to excel.
“I would also like to thank the frontliners who continue to work tirelessly every day to contain COVID-19 situation well.
“I also offer my condolences to the family members of the COVID-19 victims and pray for a speedy recovery to all COVID-19 patients,” he said.