King expresses concern over COVID-19 impact on economy, people’s welfare

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 – International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was granted an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today to brief and update the King on measures taken by the government to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on the economy and welfare of the people.

Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said through the 30-minute video conference at Istana Negara here, His Majesty was briefed on the roles and measures taken by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) following the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which took effect from March 18.

“Today’s session reflects His Majesty’s concern on public health containment measures for COVID-19 and its impact on the country’s economy.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah has also expressed his support for the measures especially the efforts to ensure that there is sufficient supply of food and essential items throughout the MCO period,” he said in a statement here today.

The video conference with Mohamed Azmin who is also Senior Minister (Economic Cluster) was the third conducted during the MCO after the first and second were held with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

Ahmad Fadil said the King was also briefed on the government’s decision to set up the special Cabinet committee to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and labour market which was jointly led by MITI and the Defence Ministry.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed concern over the impact of the pandemic on small and medium enterprises and labour force in the country and hoped the measures taken by the government would prove fruitful, he added.

Ahmad Fadil said the King called on all 1.5 million employees and employers of companies in certain sectors which have been allowed to operate during the MCO to adhere to the standard operating procedure and guidelines set by the Health Ministry as well as enforcement agencies.

Strict adherence to the guidelines is important to prevent the emergence of a new COVID-19 cluster, he said.

“His Majesty is aware of the current situation faced by all parties inlcuding the people following the implementation of the MCO which enters its sixth week.

“As such the King hope that people would continue to be patient and persevere in dealing with the challenges until the situation returns to normal,” he added.

– BERNAMA