KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 – While awaiting the government’s decision to extend or lift the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which expires this Tuesday, Malaysians will look forward to an announcement on the Short-term Economic Recovery Plan in a special message by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today.
The special message by the Prime Minister will be broadcast live at 3 pm by local local television stations and social media networks.
Looking back, the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced in the country last March 18 following the outbreak of COVID-19 and then the CMCO, from last May 4.
The implementation of the MCO and CMCO proved successful in combating the COVID-19 pandemic as seen with the drop in the daily number of new cases, thus enabling the government to allow more economic sectors to re-open in the country.
It is obvious, the special message by Muhyiddin will be much awaited by the people, especially the economic industry players.
On the COVID-19 situation in the country, although the number of daily cases surged to three digits, to 277 yesterday, from 93 cases the previous day, Malaysia is seen to be approaching a free-COVID-19 situation.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in his daily media conference on COVID-19, said of the 277 cases, only six cases involved Malaysian citizens, with four local transmission and two imported cases.
Meanwhile, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in an interview for a documentary on MCO with Bernama TV recently, said Malaysia will witness major changes in the policy of employing foreign workers and to curb the entry of illegal immigrants during post COVID-19.
He said that it was about time for the policy to be reviewed as foreigners were among major contributors to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country as well as in several other countries, including Singapore.
The tourism industry, he said, was among economic sectors adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with many hotels forced to shut down their operations and retrench workers, leading to high unemployment rate.
While the post COVID-19 economic recovery may be slow, the government policy would definitely put more emphasis on employing locals, he added.