TAMPIN, June 15 — Current developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic do not affect the country’s economic recovery during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He said the spread of COVID-19 has however affected the psychological wellbeing of the public, a factor that could slow down the economic recovery process.
“We are grateful that after June 10 there have been some relaxations, small hotels have started taking reservations, hotels are gradually reopening while airlines have resumed domestic flights, small and medium enterprises have resumed operations, and we see that the government’s desire to revive the economy has succeeded partially, though not completely.
“But the psychological effect on the public, making them fearful of carrying out normal daily activities like going on holiday, going out shopping or to school and the like, is the main stumbling block to economic recovery,” he said at a media conference here today.
Mustapa, who was speaking after a working visit to the Bukit Rokan Felda settlement near here, said the main priority for the government now is to tackle the public health challenges brought by COVID-19.
“We can say it has been successful, and some of the way we handle the crisis has become an example for the world, and both developing and developed countries are emulating our methods.
“If handling the health issue is the first phase, the second phase is reviving the economy, and PENJANA (the short-term economic recovery plan announced on June 5) is being closely monitored,” he said.
He added that an estimated 90 per cent of Malaysians have returned to work, a sign that the economy is recovering.
“The focus of the government now includes explaining the standard operating procedures (SOPs).There should be more meetings between the relevant quarters and the government, and this is happening. I feel that if the SOPs can be explained further, we will be able to see several economic sectors reopening and operating smoothly,” he said.