June 19, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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No total economic lockdown even in worst-case scenario: Tengku Zafrul

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29  — Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has reassured that Malaysia will not implement a total lockdown on the economy even if the worst-case scenario comes true.

Instead, he said the government will continue to focus on enforcing a more stringent standard operating procedure (SOP), should the number of COVID-19 cases remained high in the country.

”Base on the current model, we believe the number of cases will go down.

“Assuming worst case scenario (did come true), it will not be a total lockdown on the economy, we will continue to focus on more stringent SOP,” he said this during an interview with CNBC today.


Tengku Zafrul was responding to a question on whether or not that the government would shut down certain sectors, or which sectors would be the priority to be closed down if the Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) has to be extended, or the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is not smooth as anticipated.

He said if the number of cases continued to rise, core issues such as the adherence and enforcement of the SOPs should be addressed.

Malaysia recorded 4,094 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, taking the country’s infection tally to 198,208 cases.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul dismissed the notion that the recent increase in the ringgit against the US dollar would impact the export performance.

“Yes, the ringgit has strengthened against the US dollar and other currencies, but as global trade is forecast to grow about eight per cent in 2021 versus 2020, Malaysia stands to benefit form that.

“And I believe the ringgit performance would not have the adverse impact on the exports,” he said.