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Saturday, June 27, 2020

PM: Stimulating the economy is as challenging as containing Covid-19

Malaysiakini

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today described the task of stimulating the country’s economy following the months-long movement control order (MCO) period as being as challenging as curbing the spread of Covid-19.
The Gambir assemblyperson said although economic activity had resumed, it had not reached the level targeted by the government and there were many problems faced, including by businesses.
According to Muhyiddin, economic experts have also forecasted that the country’s economy would contract in the second and third quarters of this year.
“My concern is that nearly a million people would lose their jobs in the next few months. This is quite worrisome for us (the government).
“If we don’t take urgent measures, it (unemployment) will lead to a huge problem for our citizens, our youths.
“(Therefore,) we urge the state governments and local authorities to take proactive measures to assist individuals as well as businesses in facilitating their business operations,” he said in his address at the meet-the-people session at the Bukit Gambir Multipurpose Hall today.
Muhyiddin suggested that if previously local authorities took months to issue or renew business licences, perhaps the process could be expedited under the new norm to enable businesses to start.
In addition, he said, state governments and local authorities could consider other forms of assistance for businesses in dealing with a worker shortage, logistics and other matters.
“If these are not provided, industries and businesses would not operate up to our expectations,” said the prime minister, who is also the member of Parliament for Pagoh.
Muhyiddin pointed out that the federal government had introduced the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package and the National Economic Recovery Plan to assist in reviving the country’s economy.
“I am telling this so that we (the people) are aware of the huge challenges faced by the country in managing Covid-19, whereby we have achieved a level that can be deemed as successful.
“However, managing the economy to return it to the usual vibrant level is a similarly huge challenge,” he said.
Nonetheless, the prime minister expressed confidence that the cooperation involving the federal government and the states, with the support of other government bodies including relevant government agencies, would help to stimulate the country’s economy in the near future.
“My priorities are none other than the people’s welfare and development of the country - stimulating back the economy while safeguarding the people’s health - and this is what the people have been waiting eagerly for rather than talks about politics,” he added.
This marked the first time Muhyiddin returned to his constituency since the implementation of the MCO following the easing of restrictions on inter-state travel.
Bernama

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