Lam Thye: Recovery Plan timely, measures to cushion pandemic effects needed

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Recovery Plan is timely as the country needs to institute measures to cushion the effects of Covid-19 as soon as possible, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The Alliance for Safe Community chairman said the pandemic has left a devastating trail that will need a detailed, consistent and comprehensive set of plans to get the nation back on its feet and return to normalcy.

"The plan must meet the needs of people from all walks of life and all economic and social activities.

"As such, it is vital that the team of experts who will be tasked with working out the nuts and bolts of the recovery plan must include experts from a wide spectrum of society.

"This includes the public and private sectors, academics, industry players, public health experts, educators, the media, non-governmental organisations, relevant guilds and associations besides politicians and civil servants," he said in a statement on Monday (June 14).

The nation already has a pool of experts in every field who would certainly be keen to do their part in helping to formulate an effective recovery plan, he added.

"We must not forget gender representation in this recovery team. And the minorities, the Orang Asli, the aged and the infirm.

"We should also encourage the mainstream media to carry readers' comments and suggestions on the plan for consideration.

"This consultation process with stakeholders is essential as the government needs the fullest participation of all sectors to ensure successful implementation of the plan.

"We can also take a cue from other countries that have implemented measures for economic and social recovery," Lee said.

He lamented the fact that after more than a year, Malaysians are still reeling from Covid-19 pandemic fatigue and everyone has been deeply affected, losing family members or friends or watching them suffer.

"Many have been deprived of their jobs, income, or businesses while others have had to deal with fear, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, or worse.

"Covid-19 has impacted us all in more ways than we could have imagined," he added.

"Ultimately, the only way for us to finally defeat Covid-19 is to vaccinate as many people as possible in order to achieve herd immunity," he said.

"The onus on making the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme a success cannot rest on our leaders alone.

"We cannot be passive and must convince our parents, siblings and neighbours to get vaccinated.

"More must be done to ensure vaccines reach our rural population, the technologically disadvantaged and the marginalised since many do not even own smartphones," he added.

He said the vaccination campaign is something that all Malaysians should rally behind, putting aside their political beliefs and differences.

"It's our best hope for a return to normalcy," he said.

On Sunday (June 13), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government is drafting a National Recovery Plan in preparation for the country to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic at a reasonable level.

He said the plan would be presented to the National Security Council this week.

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