AS the Covid-19 outbreak begins to impact the local economy, a greater emphasis should be placed on preparing a better strategy to ensure the recovery of the economy as well as providing safety nets for the people.
A study by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) showed the number of unemployed is estimated to reach 2.4 million as a result of the pandemic, with 67% of them non-professional workers.
The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) president Datuk Tan Yew Sing said reviving the country's economic development in the aftermath of the pandemic will be an extremely challenging task for Malaysia.
“Malaysia's SMEs account for 98.5% of the total number of business establishments. In 2018, SMEs contributed 38.3% of the country’s GDP.
“At present, SMEs provide 70% (or 5.7 million) of the jobs in the country.
“Therefore, it is vital to secure the continuous operation and sustainability of enterprises, especially SMEs in order to control the unemployment rate,” Tan said in a statement today.
Besides various measures already implemented by the relevant authorities, the government should adopt the following four emergency measures to ensure social harmony and reduce unemployment rates.
The measures are direct financial support to SMEs, maximising production and coordinating distribution of medical and protective supplies at one common price, and close and centralised monitoring of stocks and production. The last measure is providing a social safety net for daily income earners, including foreign workers, to ensure social order and no outbreak of crimes. -- April 6, 2020, Bernama