KUALA LUMPUR: 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.
He said this was important as there were still new Covid-19 clusters being detected among certain sectors.
These clusters were triggered when certain segments of society became complacent and failed to observe the SOP when more economic sectors reopened, which was evident when certain social activities were permitted recently, he said.
“These clusters emerged because we tend to think that things are back to normal and we do not have to comply with SOP any longer.
“From social sector activities observed recently, there are many who seem to have forgotten about SOP,” Tengku Zafrul said when discussing the National Recovery Plan (NRP) on RTM’s Optik @ Selamat Pagi Malaysia talk show yesterday.
At the same time, Tengku Zafrul said the Finance Ministry was open to helping those economically affected 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 were issued for experts’ in-depth views.
“Those are our two focus areas to help the people and also businesses in the near future, and to make plans for 2022 for the country’s recovery.
“We (the 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 added.
Tengku Zafrul, who is also the NRP coordinating minister, said where decisions were concerned, the NRP used the latest reports sourced both within Malaysia and also internationally.
“(The Covid-19 vaccine) booster shots, for example – the Health Ministry held discussions and the Health Minister has in fact announced that we will begin booster shots, Insya-Allah, very soon,” he said.
“The NRP focuses on both the economic and social sectors,” he added. — Bernama