KUALA LUMPUR: The government is in the process of drafting a “Temporary Measures Bill” to mitigate the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today.

He added that as engagement with the public is crucial, an online consultation platform is currently being managed and administered by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).

“As there is a silver lining in every cloud, we should turn crisis into opportunity by seizing the emerging trends to mitigate the pandemic and find enablers for quality investment and fast-track our digitalisation agenda across the board,” he said in his speech at the launch of the National Productivity Report 2020 here today. 

Mohamed Azmin reiterated that the government’s incremental measures in dealing with the pandemic leading to the latest stage, namely the recovery MCO, have borne productive results, and stressed that it must not lose sight of the imperatives of protecting lives as well as livelihoods.

This is amid a higher unemployment rate at 3.5 percent reflecting the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused disruption in businesses, forced closures of business premises, cut off the supply chain, and financial losses as a result of the movement control order (MCO).

While business concerns should leverage on technology and innovation, automation and digitalisation must forge ahead and at the same time, employability of the workforce should be enhanced while reskilling and upskilling initiatives should be urgently initiated to reduce the dependency on foreign labour, said Mohamed Azmin.

“A culture of excellence and productivity mindset should be inculcated to provide the impetus for greater productivity gains and enable Malaysia to attain its high-income economy aspirations,” he added.

Mohamed Azmin said as businesses must remain sustainable, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry would continue to do its best to bolster industries particularly the small and medium enterprises and to boost and protect employment and productivity of workers.

He also stressed that Malaysia must not lose sight of the need for a rapid transformation of the economy as other economies in the region are undergoing the same process, some at an accelerated pace.

“The six-phase plan, called 6R for resolve, resilience, restart, recovery, revitalise and reform introduced by the government has been well received and we must put our best foot forward to achieve the medium- and long-term goals,” said Mohamed Azmin.

He added that the systematic and well-conceived course of action taken by the government, including the National Economic Revitalisation Plan and Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, has proven to be timely and expeditious in giving a positive impact on Malaysia’s economic growth, the protection of incomes and the sustainability of employment.  – Bernama