By Cheryl Chung (BAC Apprentice)
Are things looking better and brighter for Malaysia?
With more economy sectors set to reopen in October, and with majority of the adult population fully vaccinated, we are finally given a little breather, as Malaysia shows signs of recovery.
“The government’s decision to reopen more economy sectors gradually, with the ‘lockdown’ option no longer required, is to curb more implications, including mental health issues” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The reopening of these sectors can expedite the economic recovery process, enabling room and opportunity for people to get back to normal while adjusting to the ‘new norm’.
“The reopening of 11 economic sectors in states under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan was appropriate due to the high vaccination rates in the states,” he said.
The country’s swift vaccination rollout has allowed the government to curb the spread of the virus by states, and announce perks for the inoculated, even as infection numbers remain elevated.
Majority of the population has been fully vaccinated, paving way for the government to reach its target of reopening all economic and social sectors by the final quarter of the year. 84% of Malaysian adults have been fully vaccinated, while 91.6% has received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 150,000 are receiving their second doses daily.
The Malaysian government made the decision after taking into account data from risk management conducted by the Health Ministry, and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry. However, sectors reopening are urged to comply with strict SOPs such as mandatory wearing of masks in public areas, and showing proof of vaccination.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi thanked the Prime Minister for the decision and further stated that the ministry will instruct all enforcement officials to carry out monitoring and inspection activities every day.
The business community is also looking forward to the lifting of the ban on interstate travel. Hoteliers and restaurant operators are expecting a pick-up in their businesses while economists anticipate a revival of the tourism sector, even if it is a slow one.
The Prime Minister also announced on Monday that the government strives to encourage growth to an average of 4.5% to 5.5% for the years 2021 to 2025 and turn Malaysia into a high-income economy beyond the reopening of the economy. The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) by the leader calls for RM400 billion into new and existing development initiatives.
“The 12MP aims at returning economic growth to a sustainable trajectory, strengthening socio-economic inclusivity and enhancing environmental sustainability,” said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz. The government strives to continue with policies, and strategies to increase people’s income, and buying power especially B40 households.
In light of the challenging pandemic situation, it is hoped that the government’s economic recovery plans will be able to ease the struggles faced by society.
(Source of Images: Modern Diplomacy, straitstimes.com, HRM Asia, Reuters)