Govt should remain vigilant in fighting virus

Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan

KUCHING: Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) president Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan hopes that in the coming year, the government will remain vigilant in containing Covid-19 while simultaneously trying to reduce disruptions to the people’s economic and social life.

He said life and livelihood were indeed two difficult aspects to balance.

“I do not anticipate much economic recovery next year. With the number of new Covid-19 cases still rising, disruptions in people’s lives are expected to continue perhaps until the final quarter of next year, when the effect of the vaccines would set in inside the community,” he said.

When reflecting on this year, he said it had been dominated by an abnormally bitter memory, namely the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has crippled businesses and the livelihood of people all over the world. At a time when Malaysians had been going through a difficult period in the last few years, this year made their lives even worse when many people were driven below the poverty level,” he said.

He said the government’s reaction in handling the pandemic had been fast and although it was not perfect, it had been executed well and better than most countries.

“It was achieved though the new federal government was only formed just at the outset of the pandemic,” Abang Helmi noted.

He commended the government’s economic assistance programmes and also the containment of Covid-19, especially in the early months of the pandemic.