KUALA LUMPUR: National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pix) is cautiously optimistic that with the “whole of nation” approach, 2022 will be the year of Malaysia’s recovery, in line with the general expectation.

He said the economic initiatives undertaken by the government since March last year have formed a strong basis for the country’s recovery.

“In charting the recovery process, the government through NRC will build on and explore ways to strengthen Malaysia’s public healthcare system and related industries to enhance preparedness to exit the pandemic into the endemic stage and prepare for potential future pandemics.

“The government also needs to identify the economic sectors that require assistance to get back on their feet, with a focus on tourism, education and the small medium enterprises in the short- to medium-term.

“It also needs to identify and properly incentivise businesses that have good growth potentials in the medium to long term,” he said in his closing address at the National Recovery Summit today.

Muhyiddin noted that creating a conducive and sustainable ecosystem for inclusive growth -- including strategies for development of physical and digital infrastructure as well as bolstering commitment to environmental, social and governance policies -- would enable a robust recovery.

He added that the digitalisation of businesses and government services and the provision of necessary infrastructure would keep individuals working and businesses going during the pandemic.

“Finally, we need to ensure that the growth nurtured through the recovery process is distributed evenly, to avoid widening income gaps and worsening fault lines in our society,” he said.

Furthermore, social safety nets should also be strengthened to help rebuild lives, as well as restoring dignity and value to the people’s lives, he said.

Since March 2020, the government has provided eight economic stimulus packages worth RM530 billion and bold fiscal spending of more than RM80 billion to directly assist more than 20 million Malaysians as well as more than 500,000 businesses.

Muhyiddin noted that Malaysians need to prepare themselves to be a Covid-19 resilient society as the disease would probably remain endemic.

“The National Recovery Plan (NRP) provides a road map for the country to exit from the pandemic safely and systematically. It must also be stressed that the plan is dynamic, flexible and capable of evolution, and it will continue to rapidly recognise and respond to global scientific developments.

“It will absorb the spirit and letter of new policy ideas from all facets of the society, in line with the government’s pledge of inclusivity and transparency in facilitating the national recovery,” he said.