by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR FILE
CURRENT developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic would not affect the country’s economic recovery during the Recovery Movement Control Order period, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture).
He said the spread of Covid-19 has however affected the psychological wellbeing of the public, a factor that could slow down the economic recovery process.
“We are grateful that after June 10 there have been some relaxations with hotels gradually reopening and taking reservations, airlines resuming domestic flights, small and medium enterprises resuming operations.
“We can see that the government’s desire to revive the economy has succeeded partially, though not completely. However, the psychological effect on the public, making them fearful of carrying out normal daily activities like going on holiday, going out shopping or to school and the like, is the main stumbling block to economic recovery,” he said at a media conference yesterday.
Mustapa, who was speaking after a working visit to the Bukit Rokan Felda settlement near Tampin, Negri Sembilan, said the main priority for the government now is to tackle the public health challenges brought by Covid-19.
“We can say it has been successful and some of the ways we handle the crisis has become an example for the world with both developing and developed countries emulating our methods.
“If handling the health issue is the first phase, the second phase is reviving the economy and the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan announced on June 5 is being closely monitored,” he said. He added that an estimated 90% of Malaysians have returned to work, a sign that the economy is recovering.
“The focus for the government now includes explaining the standard operating procedures (SOPs). There should be more meetings between the relevant quarters and the government, and this is happening.
“I feel that if the SOPs can be explained further, we will be able to see several economic sectors reopening and operating smoothly,” he said.