KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The public must remain vigilant and continue to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP) when the government reopens more sectors once the nation enters the endemic phase, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (pic).
He said this was important as current developments show there were still new Covid-19 clusters being detected among certain sectors.
These clusters were triggered when people became complacent and failed to observe SOPs as more economic sectors reopened, he said, adding that this was quite evident when certain social activities were permitted recently.
"These clusters emerge because we tend to think that things are back to normal and we do not have to comply with the SOPs any longer.
"From social sector activities observed recently, there are many who seem to have forgotten about SOPs,” he said when discussing the National Recovery Plan (NRP) on RTM’s Optik @ Selamat Pagi Malaysia talk show on Sunday (Sept 19) on how society could contribute towards its success.
At the same time, Tengku Zafrul said the Finance Ministry was open to helping those economically impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that for the first time in the nation’s history, the ministry had issued a Pre-Budget Statement (PBS) for Budget 2022.
He said the people had also been given the opportunity to engage with ministry officials virtually and in writing, while public consultation papers are issued for experts’ in-depth views.
"Those are our two focuses to help the people and also businesses in the near future and also to make plans for 2022 for the country’s recovery.
"We (Finance Ministry) are quite optimistic, we can see that the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank’s forecast and projections for Malaysia next year are quite positive," he said.
Besides this, Tengku Zafrul, who was also NRP Coordinating Minister, said the NRP was a dynamic plan that used current data for decisions to be brought to the National Security Council (NSC) and the pandemic management committee.
He said where decisions were concerned, NRP used the latest reports not only sourced from within Malaysia but also internationally.
"(Covid-19 vaccine) booster shots, for example, the Health Ministry has held discussions and the Health Minister has in fact announced that we will begin booster shots very soon. NRP focuses on both the economic and social sectors,” he said. - Bernama