MUAR, June 27 — The entire banking and financial system in the country will collapse and suffer about RM1 trillion in losses if the economy is not reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
The Prime Minister said this was disclosed to him during a meeting of the National Economic Action Council (NEAC), which chaired every Monday.
“The Governor of the Bank Negara Malaysia told me then that if we didn’t do anything about it the next day or month, if we did not do anything (about it) and did not allow the economy to get back to normal, the whole financial and banking system will collapse.
“If that were to happen, the value of the losses to the banking and financial system would be about RM1 trillion,” he said when addressing a special meeting with community leaders from the Pagoh parliamentary constituency here today.
Muhyiddin, who is also Member of Parliament for Pagoh, said the economic problems due to the pandemic not only saddled Malaysia, but also other countries, including developed ones.
Hence, he said the country’s economy needed to be restored by building a stronger foundation.
“We need to improve our economic activities in the near future. When we implement the Movement Control Order (MCO), all factories stopped operations not just for a day but for months, every day our businesses and economy remained idle,” he added.
However, he said some of the government’s challenges in boosting the economy, including lifting the restrictions imposed during the MCO, were also due to psychological problems encountered by the people following fears over COVID-19.
“Even in my own family, there are those who are still hesitant to go to a restaurant, for example… whether it is safe or not. There is a psychological blockage for being confined at home for over three months, making us not prepared to go out,” he said.
The Prime Minister said to boost the economy, various assistance, including the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) was introduced in the government’s effort to revitalise the economy.
In addition, he said the government will focus on vocational and skills training for young people to give them the opportunity to be independent, especially in the face of difficult times.