PUTRAJAYA: The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to restructure and reform Malaysia’s economy and in charting the recovery process, the government must ensure growth nurtured is distributed evenly, says National Recovery Council chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
There must be continuous effort to avoid the widening of income gaps and authorities must ensure no one is left behind in the recovery process regardless of race, geography and income levels, added the former premier.
“Given that the pandemic has severely affected livelihoods, social safety nets should be strengthened so that we can get on with rebuilding lives as well as restoring the dignity and value of the lives of our fellow Malaysians,” he said in his closing address at the National Recovery Summit held virtually yesterday.
The summit was jointly organised by the council, the Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur and the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.
He said in putting together a national recovery policy, there is a need to look beyond the dichotomy of saving lives and livelihoods.
“I am a firm believer that individual well-being should also be an important consideration in the nation’s recovery. Emotional and mental health is critical to making sure that the recovery process is holistic and meaningful, transcending just economic data and numbers,” he said.
He said that in charting the recovery process, the government, through the council would build on and explore among others, the need to boost the preparedness of the public healthcare system and related industries to enter the endemic stage, to prepare for future potential pandemics and look into the emotional well-being of those who had been directly infected by Covid-19.
“We must also identify economic sectors that require the utmost attention. We must assist these sectors get back on their feet with a focus on tourism, education and small-medium enterprises.
“We need to identify and properly incentivise businesses which have good growth potential in the medium to long term,” he said.