PETALING JAYA: Seven additional pillars concentrating on the people’s wellbeing, welfare and livelihood will ensure the success of the National Recovery Plan, said the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap).
The think tank said while the National Recovery Plan to ease the country’s exit from the Covid-19 pandemic was timely, the focus seems to be on the economy’s recovery rather than the people’s welfare.
In a statement on Friday (June 18), Insap said that to ensure the plan will actually work, the government should take note of additional pillars.
“Having a roadmap paints... clear prioritised directives to (achieve) the nation’s desired outcomes. This is especially crucial when managing the masses while fighting against the invisible enemy in an environment where... uncertainty is high.
“Over the past year, some of the notable areas that can be improved when handling national emergencies include inter-agency communications, coordination of information channelling to the masses, coherence and clarity of standard operating procedures (SOP) and data performance intelligence.
“While the recovery plan is well-calculated, considering our current progress and resource availability, having a supplementary support system can ensure a smoother (outcome),” said Insap.
The report said the first pillar concentrates on an urgent need for better communication strategies with a “crisis and emergency risk communication model”.
“We focus on providing people with timely and accurate information about the disease, transmission risk, awareness, motivating health and behaviour changes, informing people about government decisions and procedures,” said Insap, also pointing out the need to contain the spread of fake news.
The second pillar is on the healthcare system and its capacity.
“Comparative health system research should be employed to facilitate informed decision-making. Also, fully utilise existing Klinik Kesihatan (health clinics) and mobile clinics to achieve a 200,000-dose daily vaccination rate. Post-traumatic stress disorder among Covid-19 survivors should be an area of focus too," Insap said.
The think tank also pointed out that the government should improve its research and innovation with data management and performance intelligence.
“Avoid non-data-driven, uncoordinated approaches in addressing the outbreak,” said Insap, suggesting that more local experts should be doing research.
The National Recovery Plan should also address social issues arising from the pandemic and tailor itself to targeted communities.
The fifth pillar, according to Insap, should be an active manpower policy to address the job market.
“A comprehensive yet flexible active manpower policy will need to be introduced in an effort to efficiently match jobseekers, especially fresh graduates, to available jobs with competitive salaries.
"We suggest introducing radical policies to boost work-based training by larger companies as part of their corporate social responsibility,” said Insap.
Insap added that the challenges faced by the education system during the pandemic should be turned into opportunities to improve delivery.
“The archaic education system can be gradually revamped, while riding on the advancement of digitalisation. The aim is to turn long-term challenges into long-term support,” said Insap.
It added that in steering the nation towards recovery, the authorities should also rethink urban planning and spatial design, as these have an important role in determining the health of urban populations.
“This is where the design of built environments can focus on creating positive settings that are able to control environmental risks,” said Insap.
On June 15, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced Malaysia’s timeline to open up the economy and social sectors which will be divided into four progressive phases of the National Recovery Plan as the people strive to reclaim their freedom from the pandemic.