by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by TMR FILE
PORT industry players welcomed the four-phase National Recovery Plan (NRP) announced by Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin which outlines the expectations and prerequisites for movements into phases of recovery.
Johor Port Bhd CEO Md Derick Basir said the strategy is crucial for the nation to bounce back from the pandemic and with everyone’s support, Malaysia can return to normalcy under the new normal during the fourth and final phase of the NRP.
“The NRP provides the much-needed certainty, clarity and confidence in terms of a clear road map; and is as transparent as it can get taking into account both the economic aspect and the safety of our people.
“We now know as responsible citizens, what we have to do and how we can play our part as an employer or an employee,” he said in a statement.
Northport (M) Bhd CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof shared similar sentiment.
“As economic frontliners working in the national gateway port, Northport employees have been working tirelessly since the announcement of the first Movement Control Order in March last year under strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure that the movement of basic needs of the Malaysian public is not interrupted.
“The NRP announced by the PM assures us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, not only for the port frontliners but also for all Malaysians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the electric utility company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) expressed support for the vaccination drive by prioritising supply reliability to hospitals, vaccine centres and temporary security posts to aid the NRP development.
TNB president and CEO Datuk Ir Baharin Din said the company’s priorities for the NRP are focused on four areas namely, saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, keeping the lights on and driving economic recovery.
“The positive impact of these four focus areas extend beyond the three indicators of the NRP that relate to Covid-19 transmission figures, capacity of public healthcare system and the success of the national vaccination programme.
“As the national electric utility corporation, we are prioritising power supply reliability to hospitals, vaccine storage and vaccination centres and temporary security posts manned by the police and military personnel,” he said.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, TNB has contributed over RM33 million towards this end, and is currently focused on keeping more than 40 vaccine storage and over 400 vaccination centres running.
“This does not affect our existing commitment to provide reliable power supply to our nine million customers nationwide,” he said.
TNB is currently taking active measures to ensure the utility company reaches herd immunity among its 35,000 workforce and has offered its premises as vaccine centres to accelerate the national vaccination drive.
“These efforts complement TNB’s ongoing efforts to minimise the spread of the virus by reducing the operating hours of Kedai Tenaga, and moving transactions and enquiries from physical counters to digital platforms.”
The company is also disbursing assistance to the underprivileged groups via various corporate responsibility programmes and voluntary efforts, including voluntary salary reduction programme.
It has directly allocated nearly RM9.5 million to over 10,000 families whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic since January 2021.
The group’s existing easy payment plan has also been extended until year-end, while disconnection of power remains suspended until the end of the month.
In addition, the 10% discount to six selected sectors under the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy package, or Pemerkasa, has been extended to the end of September, assisting over 11,500 customers.
Baharin said the company is also assuming key roles in supporting the country’s economic recovery, which will be more prominent in the later NRP phases.
“These comprise our ongoing capital expenditure investments to further modernise and upgrade our national grid, as well as leveraging the wider TNB ecosystem to generate multiplier effects to the economy through our vendor development programmes and upskilling initiatives,” he said.
In the second Regulatory Period from 2018 to 2020, TNB invested over RM7 billion in its vendor development programme, which benefit thousands of small and medium businesses, while its reskilling initiative aims to train up to 17,500 individuals by 2024 to support the nation’s energy transition.