Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz in a keynote address at the National Recovery Summit – Winning the War against Covid – The Road to Recover in Kuala Lumpur today says the NRP is a dynamic and agile roadmap that tackles the pandemic holistically, which does not just rely on simplistic factors for relaxing restrictions.
He says the NRP was a comprehensive approach to restoring consumer confidence while allowing the economy to open safely.
“At its heart, the NRP will catapult the nation on the path to recovery,” he says in his keynote address.
“The NRP is inclusive, based on a whole-of-nation approach. National Employment Council (NEC), a coordinating body under the NRP, has representatives comprising the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak as well as industry experts and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to share their expertise on various aspects of the NRP.”
He further adds that the NRP plan would provide a data-driven, dynamic and inclusive way to exit the pandemic safely and systematically, while equally critical to building back the economy better.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul says the 2022 Budget was conceptualised as a recovery budget to complement the government’s wider and longer-term reform efforts under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“The economic outlook remains intertwined with that of the virus, and the path to economic recovery hinges on first getting it under control.
Tengku Zafrul says new challenges had also emerged in the form of more dangerous variants and growing community transmissions, making it difficult path to recovery.
He adds that updates were based on current needs supported by the most recent data, especially those based on science.
“The government will progressively update the NRP to prepare Malaysia for the next normal of living with Covid-19 as an endemic disease.
“As such, we will not compromise on what is required to place our public healthcare on a stronger footing, through the NRP, and later through 2022 Budget,” he says.
“Without a doubt, Covid-19 has shown that public healthcare is an important foundation to enable other sectors to operate. “
Beyond the pandemic, Tengku Zafrul says the government was studying efforts to strengthen the healthcare system’s resiliency and preparedness for future pandemics, while meeting the longer-term challenges of an ageing population and non-communicable diseases.
“Achieving a target level of population immunity is a key enabler on Malaysia’s path to recovery,” he says.
As at September 7, more than 20 million people or 89 per cent of Malaysia’s adult population had received their first shot, including 16 million or 70 per cent who were now fully vaccinated.
“We are well on our way to have 80 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated by end of September, and 100 per cent by end of October.
“Thereafter, we will start living with Covid-19 as an endemic disease,”he says.