KUALA LUMPUR – The third wave of Covid-19 pandemic that hits the country is expected to hamper the economic recovery until the first quarter of 2021.
Therefore, the government needs to increase its effort in economic recovery with a clear and dynamic direction, including considering additional financial aid to the B40 and B40 groups who are getting burdened by the pandemic.
Deputy President of UMNO, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) has revised down its real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projection for 2020 to -5.5%.
He said, the reduction of the projection is based on the deep decline in the economic growth rate in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20) of -17.1% and the resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the reintroduction of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
“The drop is due to the lack of additional mitigation measures taken by the government in the previous quarter, especially for the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME).
“Therefore, I hope that the government can consider additional financial assistance to the B40 and M40 groups who are getting more burdened, especially in the CMCO and EMCO areas.
“The national economic stimulus plan earlier has been proven successful in lightening the burdens of the people and ensuring cash flow for businesses, however, it has ended at this vital time,” he said in a Facebook post today.
Mohamad said, the government cannot buy time by merely economic growth as Vietnam is expected to overtake Malaysia and become the fourth biggest economy in South East Asia this year, thus becoming the best country for investment in the region.
He said, the PENJANA initiative needs to be extended for the SME to maintain employment and avoid the increment of unemployment rate.
“Efforts to speed up economic recovery must be increased to allow democracy to work, special incentives for selected investments, opening borders with stringent health protocols and ease conditions to conduct businesses.
“Business confidence and Malaysia the destination for investment is hugely dependent on the consistency and clear policies. Each government’s policy in fighting the pandemic must be reasonable, scientific evidence based, taking into consideration of the public interests and not confusing.
“I hope that the government of Malaysia can consider the formation of a complete and consistent warning system as a replacement of the last minute SOP adjustment announcements,” he said.
According to him, the warning system in stages as implemented in several other countries portray the different stages of emergencies in the Covid-19 crisis, based on the number of the virus multiplication and the number of confirmed cases.
He said, each stage of the warning system has a fixed protocol and restriction and will not be amended unnecessarily, especially when it comes to workplace SOP.
“The protocols must also go through negotiations with stakeholders by taking into consideration the balance and sustainability of business and employees’ health.
“I would like to repeat my stance. The pandemic can only be evicted through scientific approaches, economic recovery and compliance to the national constitution,” he said. –MalaysiaGazette