PM: Adopt new narrative to manage endemic reality

Govt to implement policies to encourage the attitudes and behaviour necessary in an endemic scenario


MALAYSIANS need to adopt a new narrative and unite as a nation to live with and manage the endemic, while navigating other issues such as climate change and disruptions.

Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said as the world shifts to adapting lives in an endemic way, everyone must be prepared to accept that they can no longer return to the carefree “normalcy” of the past.

The government will implement policies to encourage the attitudes and behaviour which will be necessary in an endemic scenario.

“We must define for ourselves what the working conditions in living in an endemic scenario should be. We will implement policies that will encourage the attitudes and behaviours necessary in this scenario.

“Malaysians will have clear standard operating procedures, will be trusted to exercise responsibility and in return, will enjoy a resumption of social and economic activities along a clear path defined by a meaningful government strategy,” he said in his opening speech at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2021 yesterday.

Ismail Sabri, who is also Khazanah Nasional Bhd chairman, said the pandemic has diverted attention away from other critical issues such as climate change and inequality.

The effects of climate change have been more apparent in the past year, while the pandemic has underscored the stark reality of global inequalities.

He reminded everyone that as other countries grapple with climate issues such as wildfires, floods and droughts, Malaysia is not immune from climate-related disasters.

“It is time for a new narrative. All weaknesses have been brutally exposed. In the current situation — whether we like it or not — we have to live with this reality.

“Climate change, disruption, chaos and catastrophe will always haunt us. Addressing such issues effectively requires a world with unified purpose and resolve,” said Ismail Sabri.

Under the Keluarga Malaysia approach, the PM said the country’s most urgent needs must be fully aligned, where everyone sets aside their differences and shifts their attention away from political competition.

As an inclusive government, he said all opinions will be taken into account before decisions are finalised. He added that the country’s 2022 budget, which will be debated in the next Parliament sessions, will address all immediate fiscal issues “with great urgency”.

“Underlying all these policies defined by the government, the National Recovery Council will play an active role in restoring our nation’s economic health and prosperity.

“We will take a broad and inclusive societal approach for the greater good of Malaysia, drawing up a strategy and its various tactics that will take us out of the pandemic into a safe and sustainable life with an endemic Covid-19 scenario,” he added.

Khazanah MD Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said the Covid-19 crisis serves as an opportunity to be seized immediately. It has highlighted existential fragilities in the collective global socio-economic community and forced everyone to confront them.

“Inequality, imbalance, economic injustice and environmental abuse have never been more universally apparent, and so is the critical imperative to address them in a globally coherent and unified fashion,” he said in his speech.

Amirul Feisal added that the nation must discard the old narratives which have pushed the nation towards global catastrophe socially, economically and environmentally.

“If we want to avert disaster, we must create new narratives which fundamentally change our values and behaviours to shape the world we would like our children to inherit.”