SEREMBAN: The government's delivery system has to go completely digital post-Covid-19, says Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (pic).
He said the authorities would also need to set up an institute similar to the United States' Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to, among others, be better equipped to fight pandemics.
Mohamad said these are among the pressing issues the government needs to quickly look into post-Covid-19 to ensure the country is not again caught off guard by such an outbreak.
"Radical measures need to be instituted to overhaul the delivery system and to completely become a digital government.
"We cannot again afford to have a situation where our delivery system is paralysed in the event of a crisis," he said in a statement.
He said the best example he could provide was the forced closure of schools, where teachers and students could not immediately switch to "online mode" due to the outbreak.
This, he said, has resulted in a lot of time wasted.
Mohamad said there is also a pressing need to deal with non-traditional threats such as pandemics, cyber-attacks, natural disasters and other crises.
"We are going to be more exposed to such threats, compared to wars or interstate conflicts.
"Too much funds have been allocated for the defence sector, while the non-traditional threats have not been given much focus.
"We can no longer act on an ad hoc basis, and we need to be a step ahead of non-traditional threats and one way is through the setting up of a national institute such as the CDC," he said.
Mohamad said Malaysia also needs to strengthen its international cooperation with other countries to be able to face crises such as Covid-19 more effectively in the future.
He said Malaysia's experience with Covid-19 clearly showed that such a pandemic could only be defeated if there was close cooperation with other nations.
"Malaysia needs to get more involved internationally and have a network which is productive so that we could rely on it in a time of crisis," he said.
Mohamad said with the effects of the pandemic expected to last between 12 and 18 months, Malaysia will need to embrace the "new normal".
"Malaysia needs to do a total reset to ensure the economy can become resilient again, and to do this, we need to explore the potentials of modernising the traditional economies and to have crisis-proof sectors to promote growth.
"To achieve this, we need to be innovative, think out of the box and subscribe to new economic approaches.
There was an even greater need for this with the International Monetary Fund declaring that the virus has already driven the global economy into recession.
Mohamad said he was confident that Malaysia will survive the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve even greater things, as the human spirit was indomitable.
"Despite our limitations, the human spirit has always overcome obstacles and odds against it and emerged stronger.
"We must believe in and motivate every Malaysian to achieve this and then we can look forward to a better Malaysia post Covid-19," he added.
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