KOTA KINABALU, Aug 29 — Civil servants need to play a role in accelerating economic growth which is now severely affected by the spread of COVID-19, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said civil servants should eliminate the bureaucracy that makes it difficult for the people to recover their socio-economy and their lives.

They should also think and act out of the box in solving the problems that the people are facing, he said in his speech at a meeting with Sabah federal civil servants at International Convention Centre here today.

Also present were Education Minister Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun and Sabah Federal Secretary Datuk Samsuni Mohd Nor.

Muhyiddin said civil servants need to understand that the management of the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be balanced between maintaining public health and ensuring the country’s economic stability.

He said what was important at the moment was to generate the country’s economy which in turn could open more new job opportunities for the community.

“The main issue is how to revive the economy, how to preserve the people’s source of income. This is about livelihood, health and it is also about economy. We must help our people.

“Tourism sector is severely affected (by COVID-19) and the country’s borders are still closed. But there are signs of recovery when hotels are fully booked, not by foreigners but locals. This is the role of our people in helping the economic sector,” he said.

As one of the leading countries in containing the COVID-19, Muhyiddin stressed that Malaysia could not be lagging behind in recovering its economy post-COVID-19.

Muhyiddin said the spread of COVID-19 had taught the people many things including the need for effective digitalisation measures to help the people to continue their lives and generate income.

For example, he said, high speed Internet is needed to help online learning and marketing.

He said the government through the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) would implement the National Digital Network (Jendela) in an effort to improve the country’s digital communications where Sabah was one of the states that would benefit greatly from the plan.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said, the federal government had never neglected Sabah and a total of RM11.22 billion had been allocated to develop the state socio-economy including the industrial, education, tourism and agriculture sectors.

However, he said, it would be better if the Sabah government is aligned with his federal administration, because according to him, working as a team will have a greater impact in various aspects.


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