Covid-19 among big challenges awaiting new ministers

  • Nation
  • Monday, 09 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 outbreak is one the main challenges facing members of the new Cabinet, say several organisations.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan (pic) said the new Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and his deputy Awang Hashim must immediately get to work and assisting both workers and bosses amid the challenging weak labour market.

He said they must help employers and employees address the challenges caused by the sluggish economy and the lingering impact of Covid-19.

"Employers need to be assisted to manage the rising cost of doing business now and be given incentives as well as encouraged to retain their existing employees rather than retrenching them.

"Enabling employers to retain employees during the challenging period will in the long run assist them to quickly take the opportunities in the event of economic recovery," said Shamsuddin when contacted on Monday (Mar 9).

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the new Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and her deputy Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan have to restore the confidence of foreign holidaymakers to visit Malaysia.

With tourism at the lowest level due to Covid-19, this should go to the top of the to-do list for the new ministers.

Tan said it was crucial for them to show that Malaysia is relatively safe to visit by assuring visitors that precautionary health measures are being taken.

"There is also a need to follow up on the economic stimulus package to ensure that tourism players can sustain for a short term period.

"She should also make it a priority to engage with tourism players and ensure reasonable requests are approved rather than remain unresolved," said Tan when contacted on Monday (Mar 9).

He said that Nancy, who was a former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law, must look into modernising tourism laws pertaining to licensing, accommodation providers and enforcement, all of which has remained unresolved.

"MATTA is also looking forward to working closely with the new minister to achieve tourism targets, modernise outdated laws, introduce incentives to spur the industry and step up enforcement against illegal and unlicensed operators.

"These fundamentals are necessary to bring the tourism industry to a higher level," he said.

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Covid-19 , Cabinet , Tourism , Human Resources , MEF , MATTA


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