The Malaysian government is encouraging people to buy local products as a means to revive the national economy amid the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said Malaysian businesses needed support as the pandemic and movement control order (MCO) had a negative impact on the economy. While the MCO has done a decent job at reducing the number of COVID-19 transmissions, businesses throughout the country has suffered greatly; especially those that could not adapt to the “new normal” fast enough.
“The wholesale and retail trade index declined to negative 6.1 percent in March from 5.4 percent in February, ” he said.
The ministry has also launched it’s “Buy Malaysian” campaign, which is aimed at reviving the economy by stimulating consumer spending and encouraging the consumption of local products, he said.
“There is a need to support Malaysian businesses, which also provide employment opportunities for the people, ” he added.
Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee also called upon the populace to continue support for local farmers, fishermen, and food producers where able.
“Malaysians can play their part by buying more locally produced agro-food products as more demand for these products will boost the local food producers’ morale. It will also motivate them to produce more supply, ensuring our food supply chain remains optimal even in times of crisis, ” he said.
The minister also said that while the police, infrastructure technicians, and medical staff are the first that comes to mind when we think of frontliners, he also mentions that the agricultural frontliners and food production workers also deserve just as much gratitude as they continue their work to provide sufficient food for the population during the pandemic.
Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said a small shift of Malaysians’ preference towards local goods could translate into a huge and meaningful impact on the economy and help many families.
He said increased demand and consumption of local products could help local manufacturers, especially SMEs to sustain their operation amid these trying times.