Govt to unveil long-term Penjana in October

Muhyiddin tells the Dewan Rakyat that the long-term plan would include the implementation of digitisation and the IR4.0

pic by BERNAMA

THE government through the Economic Action Council (EAC) is in the process of preparing a longterm economic recovery planned to be tabled in October this year.

Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) said the plan would focus on, among others, improvements in the labour market and reforms of public institutions and governance framework.

He told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the long-term plan would include the implementation of digitisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).

Muhyiddin was responding to a question from Rubiah Wang (GPS-Kota Samarahan) who asked him to state the economic status and growth, as well as the current unemployment rate.

Additionally, he also shared that there are various measures to be introduced in next year’s budget which will be tabled on Nov 6 this year.

“The government is also formulating various policies and strategies, specifically to restructure and strengthen the economy and to address socio-economic development imbalances under the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025, which will be tabled early next year,” he said.

Muhyiddin added that the country’s economy grew by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2020, which he said is better than most economists’ forecast amid the challenging global economic and trade environment brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Bank Negara Malaysia projects Malaysia’s economic growth for 2020 to be at a rate of between -2% and 0.5%. These projections consider the effects of weak global demand, supply chain disruptions and Covid-19 control measures globally and domestically.

“Meanwhile, the Department of Statistics Malaysia estimates the unemployment rate to be 5.5% or 860,000 this year.

“However, the labour market is expected to recover by the end of the year following the government’s move to implement the Recovery Movement Control Order which has allowed for full business operations from June 10 onwards,” he added.

Muhyiddin also emphasised that to address the rising unemployment rate, the government has allocated almost RM15 billion through the Prihatin Rakyat and short-term National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) stimulus packages to help almost 3.3 million people affected by the pandemic.

Among the initiatives include the wage subsidy programme, recruitment incentive programme and training assistance.

On the stimulus package, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal also demanded response from Muhyiddin over the inability of MPs to debate on the Prihatin stimulus package and Penjana economic plan.

Muhyiddin responded by saying the government had no choice but to act swiftly, and not wait for a parliamentary sitting.

“My finance minister would be answering any queries regarding the package in this sitting itself,” he added.

Separately, on the third question regarding the effort in accelerating the process of digitisation in the government’s services, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof answered on behalf of Muhyiddin.

“The government is developing a master digital platform to address cyber threats,” he said in response to Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s (PKR-Pandan) question.

Responding to Dr Wan Azizah’s earlier question on cyber-security issues, Mohd Redzuan admitted that the government received 80% of complaints that were related to cyber attack threats.

“A platform to ensure cyber security can be applied in this space and will be launched within five years.

“Cyber attacks are constantly monitored and investigated by CyberSecurity Malaysia and other security agencies for action,” he said.

Prior to that, Dr Wan Azizah brought up that the developer of the MySejahtera application is a foreign-owned company.

Mohd Redzuan, however, denied that the contract was awarded to a foreign company, claiming that KPISoft Malaysia Sdn Bhd is a local firm.

Dr Maszlee Malik (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia-Simpang Renggam) then intervened and said KPISoft Inc is a company registered in the US and is based in Singapore.

“YB Pandan’s question is significant not only regarding the MySejahtera app, but also on the MyFuturejobs launched by Social Security Organisation through a Dutch company.

“Similarly, digitisation schemes are given to taxpayer-funded overseas companies and this is not a new thing. This matter has also been reprimanded by the Malay EAC. The question is, why are such contracts not given to Muslim companies that develops digital software?” he asked.

Mohd Redzuan further clarified that KPISoft Malaysia is a Malaysian company and that there are thousands of companies registered overseas which are owned by Malaysians.