PM unveils recovery plan ahead of Rulers’ meeting

The plan sees all economic sectors reopening by December and the Parliament reconvening as early as September


PRIME Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) unveiled a national recovery plan for Covid-19 yesterday, which would see all economic sectors reopening by December and the Parliament reconvening as early as September.

The four-phase exit plan will see each phase lasting about two months. Phase 3 of the plan sees social sectors, including schools, reopening beginning September.

In the final phase, Muhyiddin said on top of reopening all economic sectors, more social sectors and interstate travel will be allowed. This also includes the reopening of domestic tourism, subject to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We can move to this phase when cases are low, the public health system is safe and herd immunity is achieved, latest by the end of the year,” he said in a televised address.

According to Muhyiddin, the earliest timeline for Malaysia to enter the third phase is the end of August.

“The government will consider the transition from the first phase to the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) after the average daily Covid-19 cases fall below 4,000 cases; the public health system is no longer at a critical stage including the rate of bed use in the ICU (intensive care unit) and 10% of the population has received two doses of vaccine injections.”

He made the announcement after having an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara.

The King granted several audiences to various political leaders since last week, which according to the Palace is aimed at getting views and inputs on the nation’s battle against Covid-19.

On Parliament, the PM said that it will only be reopened in September or October, subject to strict SOPs.

“I would like to give a commitment that the Parliament can be held in this phase (Third Phase) around September or October by following strict SOPs. This is my position from the beginning that the system of parliamentary democracy can function again at an appropriate time, which is after the Covid cases are controlled and we almost reach herd immunity,” he stressed.

“I will continue to support parliamentary democracy and the constitutional monarchy.”

Meanwhile, the Conference of Rulers’ special meeting, which is expected to begin at 2.30pm today, will deliberate on views of political leaders raised during their recent royal audiences with the King.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement yesterday that the King had met with 18 political leaders from June 9 until June 15.

He had also granted an audience with the chairperson of the Special Independent Committee on the Emergency, Tun Arifin Zakaria at the palace.

All eyes will be on the outcome of the special meeting that takes place two weeks ahead of the initial schedule.

The Rulers are expected to deliberate on matters relating to the Emergency, the reconvening of Parliament, as well as the proposal of National Recovery Councilan Emergency body administration — brought forward by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former PM said in a special interview with Sinar Harian yesterday that his Mageran-like proposal is not meant to grab power nor to prop him to become the PM again.

“I’m not thinking of myself. If I was, I’d want to rest and enjoy (my personal time), but this issue requires someone with years of experience,” he said.

Dr Mahathir had said that he believes the proposal may not materialise as the government would not present it.

Pakatan Harapan had rejected the proposal, while other leaders such as Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party believes the Parliament should reopen and that the Emergency will not last after Aug 1.

Bernama reported that Gabungan Parti Sarawak presented three crucial factors that involve the importance of achieving herd immunity, a strong government and an economic exit plan for the Covid-19 battle.

However, Perikatan Nasional’s component party Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku has recommended to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the state of emergency to remain until the pandemic is under control.