Malaysian Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government’s top priority is to ensure that the economy is back on the right track through the economic stimulus packages and assistance. He cited the RM260 billion Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) as one of the measures introduced by the government to rejuvenate the country’s economy. “We know that one of our most important concerns is restoring the country’s economy. We realise that the Movement Control Order has brought industries, businesses and every kind of economic activities virtually to a standstill. Every day the economy was not moving, we lost RM2.4 billion. “Hence the government has launched various measures, including PRIHATIN. We demonstrate our commitment to get the economy back on the right track by providing assistance to all sectors of the economy, businesses and industries, including those involved in the informal economy,” he said.
Speaking in Putrajaya, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the government was aware that many sectors faced constraints and hardships in their efforts to rise again. “Many have been severely impacted. The tourism sector was nearly paralysed. The manufacturing, services and construction sectors also deteriorated to a similar state. Hence we are in a really difficult situation,” he said. He said based on the Economic Action Council (EAC) report, the industry should be able to move forward quickly but this was not the case, as the players were stuck in a financial quagmire, without sufficient capital and needing additional support such as a banking system that facilitated financing. Muhyiddin said the EAC had forecast that the tourism sector, which was the worst affected sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, would take four years to recover. Given the lengthy recovery period, the prime minister noted that new players would likely emerge while established players might have to close down or incur huge losses. “They need support and assistance to facilitate their business recovery so that the tourism sector can return to being one of the country’s biggest earnings generators. The tourism sector alone can generate almost RM80 billion in annual revenue,” he said.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin said although the World Bank projected the Malaysian economy to recover next year, this depended on the efforts and measures taken by the government. He said the forecast also stated that Malaysia would be among the first to recover economically compared with other countries in the region or even developed countries. The World Bank, in its June 2020 Malaysia Economic Monitor, said it expected Malaysia’s gross domestic product to resume growth at 6.9 per cent next year.