Putrajaya’s Exit Strategy Welcomed By Businesses But More Needs To Be Done

Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Following Putrajaya’s reveal of the National Recovery Plan consisting of four phases of exit strategy from the pandemic, businesses have welcomed this initiative as the gradual opening of sectors nationwide is part of the strategy. 

“The four-phased approach has clear transitions designed to take the country out of the health and economic crisis brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic. It  provides a roadmap on easing restrictions and offers pathways to normality,” said Amiruddin Abdul Shukor, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).

“These indicators as forecasted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Security Council (NSC) based on available data, allow us to return safely, at the right time for all sectors of society. The information-focused approach allows us to prioritise for better health, economic and educational outcomes,” he said.

Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad’s President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Arshad Mohamed Ismail has also lauded the exit strategy.  “The four-phase exit strategy provides a clear and concrete direction for the economy. In addition, the plan reaffirms the Government’s commitment towards achieving herd immunity by year-end, further boosting confidence in the financial markets and among industry players.

“With reference to the National Recovery Plan, the economy is set to return to a higher operating capacity from September 2021 onwards as the vaccination rate reaches 60% of the population and more economic sectors are begin to reopen,” he said. 

Additionally, Imri Mokhtar, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Telekom Malaysia Bhd said, “We welcome the clarity provided by the Government on the National Recovery Plan. It is indeed a necessary response to the serious economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that through the effective implementation of this plan, the nation will be able to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic to a reasonable level of normality by year end, revive the economy and place the country on a new growth trajectory.”

In full support for the National Recovery Plan, Perbadanan Nasional Berhad Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Hilaluddin bin Abd Shukor said “The plan provides a clear exit strategy for entrepreneurs including franchise entrepreneurs to plan their business activities.  This will not only help entrepreneurs to restart their businesses in a more orderly and gradual manner but entrepreneurs are also able to restructure the manpower requirements of the industry by reducing the probability of high risks.”

“As this is a dynamic plan, I am confident that when all parties work together and show their cooperation by complying with the recommendations issued based on the set phases, hopefully by then, the Covid-19 chain of infection can be curbed, and Malaysia will be able to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and in turn be able to revive the country’s economy,” he added.

However, The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has called out the government for not making it clear how it plans on achieving the exit strategy it has laid out. 

The think tank argued that Putrajaya’s three indicators used for the National Recovery Plan are insufficient and that the government should instead take inspiration from the Pandemic Severity Index system which IDEAS had previously proposed. 

“Measuring the capacity of public health facilities is a good move, but the government did not disclose what “moderate” and “sufficient” mean. There needs to be greater transparency in how the indicators are measured as we move from phase to phase,” said IDEAS CEO, Tricia Yeoh. 

The think tank called for data to be utilised to provide for targeted measures and for consistency in their application all round. Since the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each phase will be laid out by the government soon, it is imperative that said SOPs are transparent and accurate.

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