PM briefed on crucial issues

PUTRAJAYA: While ordering effective implementation of the government’s economic initiatives, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also calls for prudent spending and better checks on leakages.

He spent his second day in office as Prime Minister getting briefed on two important issues concerning the country – the economy and the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a day that was packed with briefings, the Prime Minister held sessions with Finance Ministry officials as well as the special task force responsible for Covid-19 at his office yesterday.

In the meeting with Finance Ministry senior officials, Muhyiddin directed government machinery to effectively implement economic initiatives, including the recently announced economic stimulus package.

“The Prime Minister wants the Finance Ministry to ensure initiatives outlined in the package be implemented smoothly and immediately, and monitor its impact on the economy and the people, ” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said after the meeting.

The economic stimulus package valued at RM20bil was launched on Feb 27 to help cushion the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The stimulus package has three strategies – to manage the impact of Covid-19, spur people-centric growth and encourage quality investments.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali, Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir and senior ministry officials.

The PMO also said that Muhyiddin was of the opinion that annual budget allocation must bring big returns to economic growth and be able to generate income for the people and the country.

“Each programme and project the government initiates must bring greater benefit to the country and well-being to the people, ” said the statement.

Discussions between Muhyiddin and Finance Ministry officials also revolved around measures that could be taken to strengthen domestic economy activities that could push the country further in terms of competitiveness.

In a meeting with the special task force on Covid-19, the Prime Minister was briefed on measures that had been taken since Covid-19 was detected in Malaysia, including efforts to bring home its citizens from Wuhan, China.

“The Prime Minister is satisfied with measures taken by government agencies to manage the spreading of Covid-19 and records his appreciation to those involved, particularly frontliners and medical staff, ” said the PMO.

The Prime Minister directed the special task force to continue monitoring the Covid-19 situation and take more effective precautionary measures.

Authorities recorded 36 cases to date, with seven new cases detected yesterday.

The PMO also said that the Prime Minister had advised the people not to panic, abstain from panic buying and put into practice measures that had been outlined by the Health Ministry and for the public to adhere to travel and health advisory for those travelling to China, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) director-general Datuk Mohtar Mohd Abd Rahman, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, National Security Council director-general Mohd Rabin Basir and Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud.

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