By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic by BERNAMA
MORE economic sectors where Covid-19 cases are heavily reported will be allowed to reopen with stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs), said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture).
He said a strategy is needed as 10% of cluster areas contribute to more than 85% of the positive cases in the country.
“The government will take a more targeted approach by implementing stricter Movement Control Orders (MCO) at infected cluster locations,” he said during a special address in conjunction with his one-year premiership of the country.
Although the SOPs have been relaxed to allow the businesses to operate in full force, movement restrictions and international border control are still imperative to keep Malaysia’s level of infection rate down, Muhyiddin said.
“Strict action will be taken against those who are found not complying with the rules to ensure the economic activities and livelihoods for the people as well as businesses are safeguarded.
“Although the economic activities are allowed to open up, movement control is still needed, including the control of international border control and cross-state travel as well as prohibiting social and business activities where social distancing is not feasible.
“Such activities can only resume after the people’s coverage of Malaysia’s immunisation reaches a certain level,” he added.
After a year of economic turmoil, Muhyiddin said the government is determined to push for a more vigorous economy and drive for a recovery this year to safeguard the well-being of Malaysians.
He added that investors’ confidence in the Malaysian market has remained strong, particularly from foreign investors based on the RM23.1 billion investment recorded in the bond market as of August 2020.
Net foreign investment into Malaysia has also charted an improvement, raising from RM2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020 to RM6.1 billion in the final quarter of last year.
“Among the factors that support foreign investors’ confidence is the government’s active efforts to engage with existing investors and understand industries’ needs during the MCO.
“The efforts to attract additional and new investments are also in full swing. The ringgit has also emerged as one of the strongest currencies in Southeast Asia driven by the ongoing government and private initiatives in economic recovery and tackling the pandemic,” he said.